STAR’s activities support countries in achieving their 95/95/95 treatment targets and HIV prevention goals.

The star initiative
story so far

4.8 Million

test kits distributed


with HIV self-testing (HIVST) policies

38 countries

actively implementing hiv self-testing

13 countries

whose national governments are directly supported by star

4 hiv self-test kits

pre-qualified by the world health organization

HIV Self-Testing (HIVST) enables a person who wants to learn their HIV status to collect his or her own specimen (oral fluid or blood), perform a simple rapid HIV test and interpret the result themselves. HIVST is discreet and convenient, allowing the tester to have control and privacy, and is therefore attractive to people who might not otherwise test.


--Heather Ingold, Unitaid

STAR is a Unitaid-funded initiative to catalyze the global market for HIVST, generate evidence for decision-making and create an enabling environment for HIVST scale-up.

  • STAR PHASE 1 involved evaluation of products and delivery models in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
  • STAR PHASE 2 expanded to three additional countries (South Africa, Lesotho and Eswatini) and laid the groundwork for rapid country-level HIVST scale-up.
  • STAR PHASE 3 involves a further seven markets: Cameroon, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda in Africa; and India and Indonesia in Asia, where STAR will create an enabling environment for HIVST scale-up and advocate for further donor investment.

What makes
STAR Unique?

STAR’s focus on short-term catalytic investment for longer-term sustainable HIVST scale-up has proved to be a remarkably successful approach.

STAR combines a targeted research agenda; global policy and guideline development; active market creation facilitated by donor commitments; and a rapid implementation timeline aimed at establishing sustainable country-owned programs.


Phases 1, 2 and 3