Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Honors Interdisclipinary


Erika Collazo-Vargas

April L. Temple

Ruairi Walsh



Objective: To examine existing literature on mobile HIV testing units to determine if they have the potential to increase access to testing, treatment, and HIV education to decrease rates of HIV in South Africa.

Participants: Ten research articles evaluating the HIV intervention method of mobile HIV units in South Africa, including outcome measures.

Analysis: Systematic search of 87 articles from 2000 to 2018 and review of the 10 articles that met inclusion criteria.

Results: Several studies (n=5) showed that mobile testing units are effective at attracting hard to reach populations, such as men and young adults. Studies (n=3) also suggested that mobile testing units were successful at attracting first time testers. Mobile testing units did increase access to testing but did not necessarily increase access to treatment post-diagnosis. Some articles (n=2) found that mobile testing services have not yet found an effective way to link care once patients leave the unit. One article (n=1) found that the implementation of mobile testing units is cost-effective for South Africa and countries that are similarly resourced to South Africa.

Conclusions: This search found proof that mobile units increase access to testing, especially among hard to reach populations, and would be cost-effective to implement in South Africa. This study also found that if current mobile units are modified, they have the potential to increase access to education about HIV and increase access to treatment post-diagnosis. This search did not provide ample evidence that mobile testing units can decrease prevalence rates of HIV in South Africa.

Key Words: mobile HIV testing units, South Africa, mobile HCT



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