Motivating men to test for HIV: A successful nudge using U=U messaging

Project specs


Noora Marcus



Funding agency

Bill and Melinda Gates foundation




In South Africa, men are less likely than women to know their HIV status or take antiretroviral treatment and often experience higher mortality. A new study led by Desmond Tutu Health Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania found that peer-delivered messaging about HIV being untransmissable if undetectable when on treatment (U=U) increases men’s HIV testing uptake. The Indlela nudge unit ( runs similar low-cost, rapid cycle trials focusing on HIV in South Africa.

Researcher Profile

Indlela (meaning “the way” or “the path” in Zulu) is the first-of-its-kind unit focused specifically on improving the effectiveness of the public sector in delivering health care and achieving better health outcomes in South Africa. Supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Indlela is co-lead by the University of Witwatersrand’s Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Office (HE2RO) and the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE).

The Desmond Tutu Health Foundation (DTHF) is a non-profit organization founded to provide treatment for an conduct HIV/AIDS research. It is based in Cape Town, South Africa and is managed with the Desmond Tutu Health Centre at the University of Cape Town.

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