Partner Notification Services in Kisii County, Kenya
Evaluating Behaviour Change Communication Strategies
In the East and southern African region, between 40-50% of people living with HIV remain undiagnosed. Partner Notification Services (PNS) programme was established to scale-up HIV testing coverage. This paper describes the behaviour change communication strategies used to implement PNS; and analyses HIV testing patterns arising from the implementation of PNS. Drawing data from purposively selected respondents from three health facilities in Kisii County, the sequential mixed method design was used to qualitatively analysis the views of providers of partner notification services on the behaviour change communication strategies and to present a quantitative analyse of partner notification trends in the year 2018. The results identified the following behaviour change communication strategies: contract referral, provider referral, dual referral, passive referral, telephoning, the suggestion box, and charts. Though the strategies have impacted HIV testing, inherent setbacks could slow down the process. These include lack of prior assessment of the PNS policy environment, pre-requisite training and adequate facilitation on communication strategies in PNS implementation. To increase HIV testing coverage, the application of a mixture of the communication strategies rather than a mutually exclusive process is critical.