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05 March 2024

MOBILE MEN launched to support HIV prevention in East and Southern Africa

The study aims to help men who are mobile for work, remain HIV negative through developing PrEP services specific to their needs


The MOBILE MEN programme is a three-year (2023-2026) project funded by the European Commission’s EDCTP Horizon programme to help men who are mobile for work prevent HIV through scaling up their access to PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) options.

MOBILE MEN works in South Africa and Uganda by implementing MALE-centred research to identify, understand, and remove barriers to oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (oral PrEP) and injectable long-acting cabotegravir (CAB PrEP).

The study also aims to coordinate with global, national, and subnational stakeholders to improve PrEP access, and scale-up and strengthen the capacity of local partners to support the delivery of HIV prevention products to men.

Despite effective and freely available HIV testing, antiretroviral therapy and oral PrEP, new HIV infections continue to occur in South Africa and Uganda. Men who move around for work are at high risk of HIV and struggle to engage with interventions. MOBILE MEN will provide the evidence to inform how HIV prevention services for Mobile Men can be scaled up in sub Saharan Africa 

Professor Julie Fox, MOBILE MEN Project Director

The use of PrEP can reduce the chance of getting HIV. PrEP works by stopping HIV from getting into the body and making copies of itself (replicating) and when taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV.

MOBILE MEN will carry out a mixed method, multi-setting, open-label randomized study involving 400 HIV negative men who are mobile for work in East London, KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa and in Masaka in Uganda.

The study will recruit from locations known to be where men who are mobile for work can be found. This includes fishermen, farm labourers, truck drivers, long distance taxi drivers, casual workers etc in Uganda and South Africa.

An example of a Mobile Clinic van that will be used by the study team in Kwazulu Natal

The co-leadership and engagement of local partners is central to the project's approach to improving men's access to HIV prevention products and the study aims to work closely with local communities to advance the access and uptake of PrEP.

MOBILE MEN is also linked to HIV prevention programmes across sub-Saharan Africa and hopes to make the findings generalisable to the region.

The MOBILE MEN consortium is led by Kings College along with core partners Desmond Tutu Health Foundation, Africa Health Research Institute, MRC/UVRI and LSHTM, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University College London, Assistance Publique Hopitaux de Paris and WITS Health Consortium (PTY) LTD.

Find out more on the MOBILE MEN study page or contact: Julie Fox, MOBILE MEN Project Director ( and Sophie Lam, MOBILE MEN Project Manager (

In this story

Julie Fox

Lead Investigator

Sophie Lam

Project Manager