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HIV Testing Services in Botswana

I-TECH Botswana conducted facility-based HIV testing at selected PEPFAR supported scale-up sites in seven PEPFAR districts between 2011 and 2020. Testing was carried out by Health Care Assistants and included expanded provider initiated testing, counseling, and partner notification. In addition, I-TECH Botswana conducted regular continuous quality improvement visits at I-TECH-supported facilities and provided support for linkage to care.

In March 2017, I-TECH Botswana began rolling out Checka Status—a multimedia campaign with a strong focus on social media. This campaign targeted young people and men, and was designed to increase the uptake of facility-based HIV testing. The campaign is active on the social media platforms Twitter and Instagram, which serve as a source of information about HIV transmission, testing, life after an HIV diagnosis, facility hours, locations, and more. The Checka Status campaign also includes posters, selfie booths, newspaper and television ads and radio spots in Setswana that promote Checka Status and HIV testing.

In addition to Checka Status, I-TECH Botswana experimented with a number of innovative demand creation strategies, including: expanding and optimizing testing services at hospitals and high volume clinics, 24-hour testing services, weekend, public holiday and after-hours testing, robust disclosure counseling to increase partner notification, creating  a “warmline” that patients can call to make appointments, men’s wellness forums, targeted campaigns for youth, couples, and more.

To learn more about I-TECH HIV testing services in Botswana, please see the I-TECH Botswana Over the Years: Improving the Health of Communities in Botswana through Strong, Compassionate, and Equitable Health Systems brochure.