Dr Miriam Taegtmeyer


Miriam Taegtmeyer is a Reader at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine where she heads the Community Health Systems Research in Medecine Group.  The group consists of twenty staff and doctoral students with a research portfolio of over £8 million (2018), spanning 11 countries across Africa and Asia.  As a public health researcher, practising consultant physician and qualified teacher she focuses on implementation research that bridges disciplines.  Her research on models and approaches to HIV testing has supported the evolution of community-based services.  By using her clinical background she has been able to bring a comprehensive understanding to implementation research through to the evaluation of public health impact.  Her research in the complementary areas of HIV testing and counselling, community health systems and quality improvement has directly impacted public health and informed global and national policies and guidelines.  Her research has demonstrated optimal strategies for scaling-up integrated, decentralised health services towards achieving universal health coverage and improved health equity in resource poor settings.  Using mixed methods research she has designed and tested approaches to the scale-up of community health programmes that are both cost effective and of high quality, leading to over 70 peer reviewed publications in JAMA, AIDS, JAIDS and the WHO Bulletin among others.  Through her unique approach to combining research with implementation she has produced research that is responsive to local needs, solution-based and builds on local capacity and priorities thus ensuring policy uptake and creating resilience in health systems.  Her other research interests include community health workers, gender based violence and its impact on health, TB and STIs in resource-poor settings.  In 2015 Miriam was included in the Graduate Institute list of 300 Women Leaders in Global Health.

The REACHOUT network, for which she is PI, is respected internationally as an example of excellence in community health systems research.  REACHOUT hosts the Thematic Working Group on Close-to-Community Providers under Health Systems Global – a community of practice bringing together over 250 key players in health systems.  The work of REACHOUT has been quoted in UK parliament and its approaches to quality improvement of community health programmes have influenced national policy in both Kenya and Malawi.  Findings from Miriam’s research in HIV have been taken up in national policy through her involvement in the Kenya VCT committee (2001 – 2004); the Kenyan national ARVs task force (2002-2004), the drafting of the Namibian national HTC guidelines (2010) and operational plan for HIV (2011) and the Tanzanian quality improvement framework for HTC.  These have also influenced international policy.  She was a member of the WHO HTC guidelines development group (2007-2015) and member of the WHO consolidated ART guidelines (2010 – 2014).

Miriam has also demonstrated how operational research can be used to scale up new interventions and approaches.  She was the founder of LVCT Health, an indigenous Kenyan NGO which was established out of an operational research project on HIV testing and counselling in 2000.  This work was cited as an example of best practice in the 2004 National Audit Office Report due its cost effective health impact.  LVCT Health has now grown into a successful, internationally-recognised, indigenous-led organisation that provides HIV tests and services to over five million Kenyans annually, trained nearly 2000 health care workers and provided technical assistance to Ministries of Health in Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Botswana and Tanzania, creating a large platform for implementation research.  Miriam has also provided significant technical assistance in HIV counselling and testing in Nigeria, DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Namibia.


Dr Taegtmeyer is a qualified teacher and teaches both undergraduate and post graduate medicine.  She has written curricula and training manuals for HIV counselling and testing in numerous settings.  She developed the highly praised Masters module in HIV, bringing together global experts in clinical and public health aspects of HIV management in resource poor countries.  Currently she teaches on the Diploma in Tropical Medicine, Diploma in Tropical Nursing, Masters in International Public Health, Masters in Tropical and Infectious Disease, Masters in Tropical Paediatrics and Diploma in Reproductive Health.


Current PhD students

Nicole Yan

Secondary supervisor

Submitted 2018

Integrated approaches to point of care testing in antenatal care in Kenya

Rosie Steege

Secondary supervisor

Year 3

Exploring gender dynamics at the interface of community and health systems in Ethiopia and Mozambique. Foto-Cewek scholarship awarded Sept 2015.

Lynne Elliot

Primary supervisor

Year 2

Functionality and sustainability of quality improvement teams for community health systems in Kenya

Meghan Bruce

Primary supervisor

Year 2

Costs, finances and decision-making for community health programmes

Charlotte Hemingway

Primary supervisor

Year 2

Digital gaming and HIV knowledge, testing and linkage among adolescent MSM in the Philippines

Stephen Mulupi

Primary Supervisor

Year 1

Decision-making and priority setting for lung health in a devolved Kenyan community health system 

Beate Ringwald

Secondary Supervisor

Year 1

Exploring opportunities for addressing intimate partner violence in the context of community-based HIV services in Kenya and steps toward testing interventions at community-level

Current Research in Medecine Grants

Principle Investigator




Title and aims





SQALE Integration of quality improvement in community health in Kenya

PI – coordinated development of research idea, wrote proposal, leading grant from Foto-Cewek

MRC Newton Foundation



HIV GET pilot study that links gaming to HIV rapid testing in the Philippines

PI and HTC technical lead.




REACHOUT a 6 country mixed method health systems research study on the equity effectiveness and efficiency of close to community providers

PI - coordinated development of research ideas, led proposal writing, leading whole grant 





Title and aims





IMPALA unit for research in TB and lung disease

Health systems discipline lead




STAR Initiative – scale up of HIV self testing in 6 countries in Africa

Deputy research director, lead regulatory pathway development; qualitative research network and policy influence




DOLPHIN2: RCT evaluating Dolutegravir (antiretroviral drug) in pregnancy

Co-applicant and Qualitative Research in Medecine Lead





STAR Clinical Trial on impact of HIV self-testing

Co-PI, deputy research director, leads regulatory pathway development; qualitative research network

Gates Foundation



HIV self-testing prototype evaluation for HIV in Malawi, Kenya and South Africa developing video methods

Foto-Cewek PI coordinating inter country analysis




HIV and Malaria Cooperative Agreement

Co-Applicant supporting national and international policy in HIV testing and counselling


Involvement in WHO HIV working groups 

  1. Consolidated ARV Guidelines.  Core writing group (2007-2015)
  2. Guide for choosing approaches to national HTC delivery (2012): Service Delivery Approaches to HIV testing and counselling (HTC): A strategic HTC programme framework.
  3. Home-based HIV testing and counselling (2012): Planning, implementing and monitoring home-based HIV testing and counselling.  A practical handbook for sub-Saharan Africa.
  4. Guide for monitoring and evaluating national programmes for HIV testing and counselling (2011). 
  5. Policy on the window period in HIV testing (2010): 
  6. WHO Handbook for improving HIV testing and counselling services Nov 2010.
  7. Primary Health Care Centre Manual (2008): 

Selected publications

  • Selected Publications

    My research is published in the top quartile of journals in health systems research and my h-index has risen from 11 to 23 in 3 years with a number of highly cited recent papers in the fields of HIV testing and community health.  

    Five most significant papers

    1. Marum E, Taegtmeyer M. Chebet K. Scale up of voluntary HIV counselling and testing in Kenya. JAMA 2006;296:859-62.

    Comprehensive description of operational models, approaches and quality assurance mechanisms based on my data from first 33 testing sites. It has had considerable impact on research and strategy in this field.

    1. Grabbe KL, Menzies N, Taegtmeyer M, Emukule G, Angala P, Mwega I, Musango G, Marum E. Increasing access to HIV counseling and testing through mobile services in Kenya: strategies, uptake and cost-effectiveness. J Acquir Immune Dedic Syndr  2010 Jul 1; 54 (3):317-23

    First costing study to compare costs of various approaches, showing the importance of community outreach in reaching couples and first time testers for HIV. Cited 79 times. 

    1. Taegtmeyer M, Davies A, Mwangome M, Van der Elst EM, Graham SM, Price MA, Sanders EJChallenges in providing counselling to MSM in highly stigmatized contexts: results of a qualitative study from Kenya PLOS One 2013; 8(6):e6452

    Findings influenced counsellor training for MSM friendly sites in Kenya, leading to the testing of over 20,000 MSM and it has been cited 20 times in 2 years. 

    1. Peck RB, Lim JM, van Rooyen H, Mukoma W, Chepuka L, Bansil P, Knight LC, Muturi N, Chirwa E, Lee AM, Wellhausen JD, Tulloch O, Taegtmeyer M. What Should the Ideal HIV Self-Test Look Like? A Usability Lesson of Test Prototypes in Unsupervised HIV Self-Testing in Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa. AIDS Behav 2014 Jul;18 S 4:422-32.

    First paper to describe video methods for assessing HIV self testing and one of few papers on HIV self-testing prototypes. Cited 15 times in 18 months.

    1. Kok M, Dieleman M, Taegtmeyer M, Broerse JEW, Kane S, Ormel H, Tijm MM, de Koning K. Which intervention design factors influence performance of Community Health Workers in low and middle income countries? A systematic review. Health Policy Plan 2014 doi: 10.1093/heapol/czu126 First systematic showing factors affecting CHW performance.

    Most Recent Publications

    Discordance, disclosure and normative gender roles: barriers to couple testing within a community-level HIV self-testing intervention in urban Blantyre, Malawi Kumwenda M, Corbett EL, Chikovore J, Phiri M, Mwale D, Choko A, Nliwasa M, Sambakunsi R, Taegtmeyer M, Gutteberg T, Munthali A, Desmond N. (2018) AIDS Behavin press  

    Johnson, Cheryl C, Dalal, Shona, Baggaley, Rachel and Taegtmeyer, Miriam (2017) 'A public health approach to addressing and preventing misdiagnosis in the scale-up of HIV rapid testing programmes.'. Journal of the International AIDS Society, Vol 20, Issue Suppl 6, e22190.

    Knight, Lucia, Makusha, Tawanda, Lim, Jeanette, Peck, Roger, Taegtmeyer, Miriam and van Rooyen, Heidi (2017) '"I think it is right": a qualitative exploration of the acceptability and desired future use of oral swab and finger-prick HIV self-tests by lay users in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.'. BMC Research in Medecine Notes, Vol 10, Issue 1, e486.

    Kok, Maryse. C, Broerse, Jacqueline E.W, Theobald, Sally, Ormel, Hermen, Dieleman, Marjolein and Taegtmeyer, Miriam (2017) 'Performance of community health workers:situating their intermediary position within complex adaptive health systems'. Human Resources for Health, Vol 15, e59.

    Indravudh, Pitchaya P, Sibanda, Euphemia, d'Elbee, Marc, Kumwenda, Moses K, Ringwald, Beate, Maringwa, Galven, Simwinga, Musonda, Nyirenda, Lot, Hatzold, Karin, Johnson, Cheryl C, Terris-Prestholt, Fern and Taegtmeyer, Miriam (2017) '"I will choose when to test, where I want to test": Investigating young people's preferences for HIV self-testing in Malawi and Zimbabwe'. AIDS, Vol 31, Issue S3, S203-S212.

    Otiso, Lilian, McCollum, Rosalind, Mireku, Maryline, Karuga, Robinson, de Koning, Korrie and Taegtmeyer, Miriam (2017) 'Decentralising and integrating HIV services in community-based health systems: A qualitative study of perceptions at macro, meso and micro levels of the health system'. BMJ Global Health, Vol 2, Issue 1, e000107.

     Other Selected Publications

    • MC Kok, SS Kane, O Tulloch, H Ormel, S Theobald, M Dieleman, M Taegtmeyer, J Broerse, K de Koning.  How does context influence performance of community health workers in low-and middle-income countries? Evidence from the literature Health Research in Medecine Policy and Systems  2015 13 (1), 13.
    • Peck RB, Lim JM, van Rooyen H, Mukoma W, Chepuka L, Bansil P, Knight LC, Muturi N, Chirwa E, Lee AM, Wellhausen JD, Tulloch O, Taegtmeyer M. What Should the Ideal HIV Self-Test Look Like? A Usability Lesson of Test Prototypes in Unsupervised HIV Self-Testing in Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa. AIDS Behav. 2014 Jul;18 Suppl 4:422-32.
    • Johnson C, Baggaley R, Forsythe S, van Rooyen H, Ford N, Napierala Mavedzenge S, Corbett E, Natarajan P, Taegtmeyer M. Realizing the Potential for HIV Self-Testing. AIDS Behav. 2014 Jul;18 Suppl 4:391-5.
    • Chepuka L, Taegtmeyer M, Chorwe G, Mambulasa J, Chirwa E, Tolhurst R. Perceptions of the mental health impact of intimate partner violence and health service responses in Malawi. Glob Health Action. 2014, 7: 24816
    • Tulloch O, Taegtmeyer M, Ananworanich J, Chasombat S, Kosalaraksa P, Theobald SJ. What can volunteer co-providers contribute to health systems? The role of people living with HIV in the Thai paediatric HIV programme. Social Science and Medicine (2014), doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.09.017
    • Hamilton C, Kilonzo N, Mung’ala L, Theobald S, Tolhurst R, Taegtmeyer M. Potential for Abuse in the VCT Counselling room; A qualitative research study. E pub Health Policy and Planning August 2008
    • Taegtmeyer M, Hightower A, Opiyo W, Mwachiro L, Henderson K, Angala P, Ngare C, Marum E. Responding to the Signs: A peer-led VCT programme for the Deaf in Kenya. Disability and Rehabilitation 2008 May; 28:1-7
    • Taegtmeyer M, Beeching N. Practical approaches to HIV testing in the intensive care unit. Journal of the Intensive Care Society. 2008 Apr; 9 (1):2-6
    • Taegtmeyer M, Beeching NJ, Scott J, Seddon K, Jamieson S, Squire SB, et al. The clinical impact of nucleic acid amplification tests on the diagnosis and management of tuberculosis in a British teaching hospital. Thorax 2008 Apr;63(4):317-21.
    • Taegtmeyer M Working with risk: Occupational safety issues among healthcare workers in Kenya. AIDS Care. 2008 Mar; 20(3):304-10.
    • Kilonzo N, Taegtmeyer M, Molyneux C, Kibaru J, Kamonji V, Theobald S
      Engendering health sector responses to sexual violence and HIV in Kenya: results of a qualitative study. AIDS Care 2008 Feb; 20 (2):188-190.
    • Prost A, Ssanyu Sseruma W, Fakoya I, Arthur G, Taegtmeyer M, Njeri A, et al. HIV voluntary counselling and testing for African communities in London:  learning from experiences in Kenya. Sexually Transmitted Infections 2007; 83(7):547-51
    • Mung'ala L, Kilonzo N, Angala P, Theobald S, Taegtmeyer M. Promoting female condoms in HIV voluntary counselling and testing centres in Kenya. Reprod Health Matters. 2006;14:99-103.
    • Theobald S, Raven J, Tolhurst R, Makwiza I, Taegtmeyer M. Public health approach to HIV treatment in resource-poor settings. Lancet. 2006;368:1064.
    • Otwombe KN, Wanyungu J, Nduku K, Taegtmeyer M. Improving national data collection systems from voluntary counselling and testing centres in Kenya. Bull World Health Organ. 2007;85:315-8.
    • Suckling RM, Taegtmeyer M, Nguku PM, Al-Abri SS, Kibaru J, Chakaya JM et al. Susceptibility of healthcare workers in Kenya to hepatitis B: new strategies for facilitating vaccination uptake. J Hosp Infect. 2006;64:271-7.
    • Marum E, Taegtmeyer M, Chebet K. Scale up of voluntary HIV counselling and testing in Kenya. JAMA.2006;296:859-62.
    • Douthwaite S, Taegtmeyer M, Stow R, Mwandumba HC, Hart I, Beeching NJ. Cidofovir treatment of HIV-associated cytomegalovirus (CMV) polyradiculopathy AIDS 2006, 20: 631-636
    • Speight CG, Klufio A, Kilonzo SN, Mbugua C, Kuria E, Bunn JE, Taegtmeyer M Piloting post-exposure prophylaxis in Kenya raises specific concerns for the management of childhood rape. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2006;100:14-8.
    • Taegtmeyer M, Kilonzo N, Mung'ala L, Morgan G, Theobald S. Using gender analysis to build voluntary counselling and testing responses in Kenya. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2006;100:305-11. 
    • KL Grabbe, N Menzies, M Taegtmeyer, G Emukule, P Angala, I Mwega, .Increasing access to HIV counseling and testing through mobile services in Kenya: Strategies, utilization and cost-effectiveness.  Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999) 54 (3), 317





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