Rwanda Zambia HIV Research Group (RZHRG), Kigali, Rwanda and Lusaka & Ndola, Zambia

Dr Etienne Karita MD, MSc, MPH
  • Site Country Director
  • Co-recipient of the SANTHE grant
  • Member of the SANTHE CSC

The Rwanda Zambia HIV Research Group (RZHRG) - with centres in Kigali, Rwanda, Lusaka, Zambia and the Copperbelt, Zambia - has been a global leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS for more than 25 years, supporting Couples Voluntary Counselling and Testing (CVCT) throughout sub-Saharan Africa. In the RZHRG model, HIV test results are shared with the partners together, and they work with counsellors to develop a plan to address the impact of HIV/AIDS in their lives. CVCT is proven to reduce the transmission of HIV by more than two thirds among couples who do not share the same HIV status.

The World Health Organisation estimates that five new people are infected by HIV for every two who receive antiretroviral therapy, a ratio that could easily be decreased by placing a greater focus on prevention. Since the majority of new HIV infections in Africa are acquired from a spouse, prevention through CVCT is an easy and economical way to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in the region’s largest risk group. With more than 20 years’ experience in Rwanda and more than 15 years’ in Zambia, RZHRG has provided CVCT to more than 250 000 couples.