YLabs to launch HIV funding challenge in Kenya

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Do you have a BIG idea to tackle HIV amongst MSM?

We want to help you build it! Supported by the ViiV Healthcare Positive Action Programme, YLabs is launching an exciting opportunity for youth-centered organizations working in Kenya. Young people will have the chance to pitch for an opportunity to win $120,000 investment and tailored design, tech and evaluation support to scale their ideas. 

The Challenge

This Challenge is looking for innovations that increase testing, linkage and retention in HIV care for young Kenyan men who have sex with men (MSM). One in five MSM in Kenya are living with HIV and HIV prevalence among MSM in Kenya is almost three times that among the general population. Among the respondents reporting to have tested HIV positive, 30% of MSM are not currently taking antiretroviral therapy (ART). Additionally, this community reports high levels of physical and sexual violence and arrest and harassment by law enforcement officials. MSM are stigmatized and marginalized, in a country where sex between two consenting men is illegal. There is an urgent need for services and information that meet their needs.

How does it work?

  • Phase 1: The call for applications will open in early 2020. Six finalists will be selected to receive seed funding and intensive mentorship in design and innovation to help them push their idea to the next level.

  • Phase 2: The finalists will pitch their ideas, and the winning team will receive US$120,000 investment and free design, technology, marketing, and evaluation expertise to build, test and grow their innovation. 

Next Steps

Join our mailing list below and follow YLabs on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram to be notified when the challenge opens. If you have an idea, start working with your team to get ready to join the challenge. We can’t wait to hear all about it!


Positive Action Challenges is a ViiV Healthcare funded innovation platform with a simple objective: to focus a global community of problem solvers on the enduring gaps, unmet needs and bottlenecks preventing the end of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Youth Development Labs [YLabs] is a leading global design and research organization working to improve health and economic opportunity for young people aged 10–24 years. YLabs’ team of physicians, designers, economists, developers, public health professionals and educators bring a unique mix of human-centered design, adolescent health, economic and health outcome evaluation, and implementation know-how to the global problems facing youth.