How can we assess HIV prevalence in African countries?

Providing technical support in developing and implementing population-based HIV impact assessments (PHIAs)


The goals of population-based HIV impact assessments (PHIAs) are to define the status of the HIV epidemic in specific President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)-supported countries.

The main objectives are to:

  • Estimate HIV incidence and/or prevalence of viral load suppression at national and/or subnational levels
  • Assess access to and uptake of HIV services at the population level
  • Estimate the prevalence of HIV-related risk behaviors

Working with ICAP at Columbia University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Westat has provided technical support in developing and implementing PHIAs in 15 PEPFAR-supported countries. The 7 most recent were: Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Malawi, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Tanzania.


Westat performs the following tasks:

  • Provides statistical expertise in survey sampling and weighting
  • Supports all aspects of electronic data collection on tablet computers
  • Develops dashboards to track the progress of data collection
  • Provides general mapping and global positioning system (GPS) support to facilitate data collection
  • Manages the survey data and prepares the final datasets used for analysis


Results of the surveys provide critical information on HIV and help shape national policies and programs to better confront the epidemic.


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