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HIV/AIDS Survey in Botswana Enters New Phase

A person wearing full protective equipment stands in front of a truck with signage that says mobile clinic B-A-I-S V.
Mobile laboratories are supporting BAIS V sample analysis in remote locations of Botswana.

The Fifth Botswana HIV/AIDS Impact Survey (BAIS V) has now been in the field for nearly two months and has completed the first wave of implementation. Approximately 3,800 households have been surveyed across the project’s three regions (see map below). This represents approximately one-third of the 13,564 households that will be surveyed nationwide before the project concludes this summer. 

A map of Botswana with purple, pink, and yellow regions.The survey teams are comprised of community mobilizers, who help build survey awareness and participation; counselor interviewers; monitoring and sampling staff; and laboratory personnel. Samples are being analyzed by way of a network of satellite laboratories located throughout Botswana that have been identified by the project.

BAIS V is being led by the Government of Botswana with technical support from Ciheb, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other partners. BAIS V is funded by the CDC under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

The Next Wave

The survey is now set to begin the next “wave” of implementation across the three implementation regions, which will have teams visiting households in more remote areas of Botswana. 

“We are excited to move on to the next wave,” said Dr. Reson Marima, BAIS V project director. “The survey results will provide an in-depth look at the HIV epidemic through a nationally representative sample. We are committed to delivering the highest quality data to help inform prevention and treatment initiatives.”

Kitso Ketshabile, who works as an assistant district AIDS coordinator for Kweneng West Sub-district in southeastern Botswana, has joined BAIS V as a survey monitor and trainer of trainers. “BAIS V is ours,” she said. “BAIS V speaks for us as a country, it speaks for us as the communities.”  Hear more from Kitso in the below video.

Eye on the Prize

The goal of the survey, which includes persons aged 6 weeks to 64 years old, is to examine the current HIV situation in Botswana in order to assess the coverage and impact of HIV services at the population level and to measure HIV-related risk behaviors. The survey had been delayed last year due to COVID-19, but is moving forward now with all necessary precautions taken and protective equipment supplied.

Participation in the survey is voluntary, but participation can help individuals learn about their HIV status and improve the HIV and health services for all people across Botswana. Consenting participants are asked questions about their knowledge of HIV, testing history, awareness of their HIV status, use of HIV care and treatment services, and behavior risk factors.

As the name implies, BAIS V is the fifth such HIV survey completed in Botswana. It is part of CDC’s Population-based Household Impact Assessment (PHIA) program, which are national surveys that provide a direct measurement of progress toward global targets to control the HIV epidemic.

For the latest updates from the field, follow the BAIS V Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. 

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