The Kenya Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (KENPHIA) is a national HIV survey led by the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Who is KENPHIA for?
KENPHIA is for us Kenyans and by us Kenyans for the benefit of our nation. KENPHIA will help us know how many people in Kenya have HIV and need health services. KENPHIA will also give participants the opportunity to get free HIV testing and counseling in the privacy of their own homes. KENPHIA will also help the Ministry of Health know the extent of HIV in Kenya to better help them plan for future HIV prevention and treatment services for all Kenyans.
No, the survey will not target all households in Kenya. Although the survey will cover all parts of Kenya, it will target approximately 20,000 randomly selected households across Kenya. Men, women and children in these households will be invited to participate in the survey.
What is the goal of KENPHIA?
The goal of KENPHIA is to describe the current status of the HIV epidemic in Kenya. In particular, KENPHIA will provide information on how many people are currently infected (HIV prevalence), how many have recent infections (HIV incidence), and how many people living with HIV are on effective treatment (HIV viral suppression).
The Ministry of Health through the National AIDS and STI Control Program (NASCOP) is the lead body overseeing all aspects of the KENPHIA national survey. KENPHIA will be implemented by ICAP at Columbia University, which is funded by the US Government President’s Emergency Plan for HIV/AIDS (PEPFAR) through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This survey is being conducted in collaboration with all the following partners: The Ministry of Health (MOH) through the National AIDS & STI Control Program (NASCOP) National Public Health Laboratories (NPHLS), National AIDS Control Council (NACC), and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI); The Ministry of Planning and Devolution (MOPD) through the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), and the National Council for Population and Development (NCPD); Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, and the Kenya Council of Governors (CoG). Additional stakeholders include non-governmental partners involved in HIV prevention and care, associations for people living with HIV, the United Nations (UN) Family, National Empowerment Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya (NEPHAK), the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), US Centres for Disease Control (CDC), and ICAP.
HIV is a disease that impacts all communities, and affects the lives of many people that we know. It is important that we clearly understand what the HIV epidemic looks like in Kenya today. After a decade of successful scale up of HIV prevention, care and treatment efforts in Kenya, there is need to evaluate accomplishments to date and better understand the impact of HIV programs in order to better refine Kenya’s response to the epidemic in the coming years. KENPHIA will provide the MOH with information to improve the quality of HIV treatment and other services so that Kenya can move towards an HIV-free generation.
- All participants: Your participation will contribute to our understanding of health in Kenya and is an opportunity to contribute to the greater good. This survey also gives an opportunity to receive free HIV test for all selected households, as well as Hepatitis B and syphilis testing for some pre-selected few, in the comfort and privacy of your home. It is important to get tested and know your status. If you have any of these infections in your blood, getting on life-saving treatment as early as possible will help you live a long and healthy life.
- Men: Evidence shows that, to curb the HIV epidemic, we need men to engage in the health system, learn their status, and get connected to treatment. With your participation, we can better understand what the needs of men like you are so we can improve health services. We cannot stop HIV without your participation and support!
- Women: Women use the health system more than anyone else and this survey wants to understand how the system is serving women’s health and how it can be improved. It is important that women learn their status and get connected to treatment so they can stay healthy and see their children grow.
- Young people: This survey wants to hear from young people so we can improve youth-friendly services to help them stay healthy.
- People living with HIV: This is a chance for people living with HIV to get additional tests, at no cost, in the comfort of their own homes. Your HIV viral load results can be sent to the clinic where you receive care. This information will help your doctor understand how you are doing and make sure that you get the right care. Hearing the perspectives of HIV-positive people is also important to the survey and will help inform the development of new programs for people living with HIV. You will be able to share your experiences and challenges with receiving HIV care and this will help the Ministry to improve its programs. KENPHIA is a chance for you to speak up and let the MOH know what you need.
- Parents (giving consent for children): You can learn about your child’s health in the comfort of your own home. It is extremely important that as parents/guardians, you learn about your children’s HIV status as early as possible, and get them to receive care and treatment right away if they are HIV-positive. With KENPHIA, all members of your family can test for HIV in the comfort of your home.
There is no cost for you to participate in any part of the survey.
Do I have to participate?
Whether you decide to participate is your choice. If you choose to participate, you will have the chance to learn about your health today, in the comfort of your home. If you do not want to participate, nothing bad will happen to you.
What are the benefits if I participate?
The benefit of participating in the survey is to you and the entire community and nation. It is a chance to learn about your health today and also to contribute to the national program on HIV treatment, care and prevention. KENPHIA gives you and your family the opportunity to test for HIV, Hepatitis B and syphilis in the privacy and comfort of your home so that you know your status and if HIV-positive you learn how to get and where to go for life-saving treatment.
If you are HIV positive, getting tested and treated early allows you to live a long, healthy, and dynamic life. Participation will also help your entire community by providing the Ministry of Health with valued information that will facilitate development of more effective programs to fight HIV and improve the health of Kenyans.
Before the interview begins, you will be given forms that fully describe the survey. Before survey teams collect information, permission (consent) for those 18 years and above will be obtained. Assent will be obtained from the minors aged 10 years to 17 years, as well consent from their parents or guardians to participate in the survey.
Tablet computers will be used to collect information via face-to-face interviews. The head of household will be asked questions about the people living in the house. After the household interview, there will be individual interviews. Individuals will be asked questions about age, the kind of work they do, their experience with HIV services, and their personal behaviors.
Blood samples will be taken from the arm, finger or heel to perform HIV, Hepatitis B and syphilis testing. Trained counselors will then offer voluntary HIV counseling and testing, and the rapid test results for HIV, Hepatitis B and syphilis will be returned to participants on the same day. Those who test positive for HIV, syphilis and/or Hepatitis B will be referred for care at a nearby facility of their choice offering these services.
There may be some slight discomfort, however KENPHIA staff are trained to minimize any pain as a result of the blood draw. KENPHIA staff will take a few teaspoons of blood from each participant. This is a very small amount compared to the amount of blood in your body and it is very safe to remove this small amount of blood.
What will the blood sample be used for?
Testing for HIV, Hepatitis B and Syphilis will be done at household. Further testing will be done at the central lab to help us better understand the HIV epidemic in Kenya. All blood will be handled according to Ministry of Health approved standards. Blood will not be used for any purpose other than for laboratory tests.
It is important for one to know their HIV status and, if positive, immediately seek treatment. Being on treatment will help you live a healthier and quality life. The human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, weakens the body’s ability to fight illnesses, which can lead to other infections. Getting tested and seeking immediate health attention, if your test is positive, can prevent other illnesses or infections and lower the risk of death.
Will my information be kept private?
The KENPHIA visit to your home is private and survey staff have been specially trained to protect your confidentiality. Your answers and test results are also confidential. You will be given a unique Identification number but your name will be kept separate from your answers to the questions. Only people working on the survey will have access to the information we collect during the survey. They will not tell anyone what you say or your test results from the survey. You can choose the location where you speak with survey staff. You may also choose to skip any question or stop the survey at any time. Nothing bad will happen if you do.
You will get your results for HIV, syphilis and hepatitis-B the same day of your testing. Trained KENPHIA staff will provide counseling to you on your test results. If positive, survey staff will give you a referral form with information that should be taken to a nearby health facility of your choice for you to learn more about your HIV or Hepatitis B test result and overall health.
What happens if I test positive?
If you or your child tests positive for HIV, your blood samples will also be sent to the Ministry of Health laboratory to measure the amount of HIV virus in your body (HIV viral load). If you provide the name of a health facility, your test result will be sent directly to that facility and you will be able to talk to a doctor or nurse at the facility about the test results. Learning that you or your child has HIV may cause some emotional discomfort but we will support you and refer you for further counseling on how to cope.
Studies are ongoing to develop a HIV vaccine though experts say it will take several years. Currently, improved HIV treatment, care and support is helping people lead healthier and normal lives.
What treatments exist for HIV?
Several different types of drugs exist to treat HIV infection. For those infected, there is Antiretroviral Treatment (ARV). For those HIV negative and feel they are at risk of contracting HIV, there is PrEP and PEP. In addition to treatment, you need care and support. For more information please visit your nearest health facility.
What is the HIV prevalence in Kenya?
Based on the 2012 Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey, 6 out of 100 people were estimated to have HIV.
How can I tell if someone has HIV?
You cannot tell by simply looking or talking to someone. Most people living with HIV do not appear sick. Only an HIV test can correctly tell if someone has HIV or not.