The HIV Counseling and Testing for Children at Home (CATCH) study is concluding its final study after several years of conducting research in various parts of Kenya. The study does exactly as it name suggests — it tries to “catch” children who may be living with HIV but are still asymptomatic and tries to treat them. CATCH works by directly approaching parents who are already in treatment directly and asking if they want to have their children tested.
According to a national survey of Kenya done in 2012, nearly 60 percent of children living with HIV are undiagnosed. Outcomes for children living with HIV are far better if they are treated before they become symptomatic. CATCH initially began in 2013 and is wrapping up its final stages now with the last group of testing. The study started at one site in Nairobi, Kenya, but has sinced moved onto six other sites both in Nairobi and rural towns throughout Kenya.
The UW has conducted research and training in Kenya for over 25 years, beginning with a collaboration between the UW and the University of Nairobi researching sexually transmitted infections before HIV had become rampant. Kenya is one of the highest burdened countries for HIV and children living with HIV.