Meet the CIPHER grantees

Arnold Junior Sadio

Year awarded: 2020
Institution: Centre Africain de Recherche en Épidémiologie et en Santé Publique (CARESP), University of Lomé, Public Health Department
Research site: Togo
Primary mentor: Didier Ekouevi, Centre Africain de Recherche en Épidémiologie et en Santé Publique (CARESP)

Arnold Junior Sadio holds a degree in medicine and is pursuing specialized training in Public Health at the University of Lomé. He currently works as a research fellow at the Centre Africain de Recherche en Épidémiologie et en Santé Publique in Lomé; this is an NGO involved in clinical research in Togo.

“The opportunity offered by the CIPHER Grant will enable us to take the first steps towards improving access to sexual health services and HIV testing for street adolescents. This research project will allow me to conduct fieldwork with a vulnerable population and local NGOs for which the care and well-being of street children are a priority.”

Research title: Access to self-testing and prevalence of HIV infection and its associated factors in a vulnerable population: The case of ADOlescents in the Streets of Togo (STADOS Study)

The issue

Street adolescents are vulnerable to HIV and have limited access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and HIV testing. In 2016, only 14.8% of street adolescents in Togo reported ever having received HIV testing (no prevalence was estimated during this study). Despite evidence that self-testing significantly improves access to HIV testing for vulnerable populations, self-testing has never been proposed or evaluated in Togo.

The CIPHER project

The goals of this project, led by Dr Sadio, are to develop an intervention package that includes components related to SRH and HIV testing through self-testing, to offer this intervention package to street adolescents in Togo, and to evaluate this intervention package mainly in regards to the acceptability and feasibility of self-testing. Based on a minimum sample of 500 street adolescents aged 13 to 19, this project will:

  • Describe the acceptability and feasibility of HIV self-testing.
  • Estimate the prevalence of HIV and associated sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and their risk factors in this population.
  • Describe and improve the level of knowledge of street adolescents on HIV, STIs and SRH.

This study is intended to be a pilot study capable of providing the first set of data on the acceptability and feasibility of a new HIV testing strategy (self-testing) in a population vulnerable to HIV and to possibly lead to further work in the same or other vulnerable populations.

The impact

The project will enable street adolescents to have a gateway into the health system through the use of HIV self-testing and eventually to benefit from SRH care. Also, the participation of street adolescents to HIV prevention and testing interventions will be improved. The results of this project will benefit local NGOs working with street adolescents, providing them with a basis for effective collaboration and enabling them to pool their efforts toward the implementation of successful SRH evidence-based interventions for street adolescents.

For more on Arnold Junior Sadio:

Email: [email protected]

1st International Paediatric HIV Symposium in Africa - Virtual Symposium 17-18 November 2021




Annual international workshop on “Children and Adolescents HIV-Exposed and Uninfected”

CIPHER Grant Programme
Awards up to $150,000 to early-stage investigators to address critical research gaps in paediatric and adolescent HIV in resource-limited settings.

CIPHER Growing the Leaders of Tomorrow Fellowship
Provides support to young investigators in sub-Saharan Africa on priority research topics in paediatric and adolescent HIV clinical science.

CIPHER Global Cohort Collaboration
Brings together the largest collaboration of paediatric and adolescent HIV observational cohort networks to answer key questions of global public health.

Research agendas for paediatric and adolescent HIV