s.a.m health was developed as part of an innovation project by ViiV Healthcare and Deutsche Aidshilfe, in collaboration with existing and previously unreached users of STI testing services. The combination of user-friendly online ordering and medically trained local support is unique in Germany to date and enables people of legal age to take a self-determined approach to their sexual health, while at the same time relieving the burden on public healthcare facilities and doctors' offices.
"The long-term goal is to increase diagnosis rates and decrease late diagnoses in Germany through a simple STI screening service that expands access to testing and lowers barriers to regular screening." (s.a.m health Joint Working Agreement)
Together with Münchner Aidshilfe as well as Labor Lademannbogen, the pilot of s.a.m health (then called S.A.M Mein Heimtest) was successfully launched in Bavaria in 2018 as the first service for home testing for HIV & STI with laboratory analysis, and the project was subsequently expanded to other nine German states. Coordinated by Deutsche Aidshilfe, the regional coverage of counseling services is being continuously expanded through partner checkpoints for s.a.m health. As a result, s.a.m health provides valuable access to regular HIV and STI testing, particularly in rural areas.
“It has been a real privilege to collaborate with our partners to create Germany’s first digital STI testing service. It is so rewarding to see the incredible feedback from our users knowing the focus and care we put as a team on co-designing with our users a service that truly meets their needs. s.a.m health helps not only its users but it delivers a strong public health benefit by linking people to care when needed and thus curbing the spread of diseases.”
Christina Nesheva, Director Hive Innovation Lab, ViiV Healthcare, s.a.m health sponsor
"To us, s.a.m health represents a huge step forward in the expansion and accessibility of testing services for HIV and STI, a service that is compatible with our demands for medical quality, sexual health education, and self-determination."
Armin Schafberger, Medical Director, Deutsche Aidshilfe
Deutsche Aidshilfe (DAH) is the umbrella organization of around 120 organizations and institutions in Germany. It represents the interests of people living with HIV/AIDS in the public sphere and towards politics, science, and medical research. Its most important tasks also include educating people about HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. For s.a.m health, Deutsche Aidshilfe coordinates the partner checkpoints as well as shipping and ensures the quality of counseling and care services related to sexual health as well as HIV and STI testing.
ViiV Healthcare is the only 100% HIV-focused global pharmaceutical company driving scientific progress in the treatment, prevention, and cure of HIV. ViiV's goal is to engage more intensively in all areas of life and health affected by HIV/AIDS and to develop solutions to complex challenges than any other company has ever done. s.a.m health was developed as part of an innovation project by ViiV Healthcare and Deutsche Aidshilfe together with users and previously unreached target groups of HIV and STI testing services in order to offer a widely available, low-threshold testing service for people in Germany.
Labor Lademannbogen works for the health of people and tests patient samples using state-of-the-art analytical methods. To ensure the best possible laboratory medicine for every patient, it has built up one of the largest ranges of analytical services in northern Germany. With over 250 employees, it offers a comprehensive and individual laboratory service.