Closing the HIV Testing Gap in South Africa with SIMUL8

SIMUL8 is supporting the South African charity, Shout It Now, to improve HIV screening and treatment in an effort to save millions of lives. By gifting free software, SIMUL8 is helping Shout It Now in their ground-breaking efforts to bring mobile HIV screening to youth and adults in the communities where they live. For a small charity, Shout It Now is pioneering in its field. By using SIMUL8, their goal is to streamline processes to create a service as efficient as McDonalds, but with the goal of saving millions of lives.

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The Challenge

The situation in South Africa is unfathomable, with a suspected 6,300,000 people living with HIV (, 2013). Shocked by the growing crisis, a small group of technology executives founded not-for-profit organization Shout It Now in 2007 to assist in the fight against HIV and teen pregnancy. Founder Bruce Forgrieve recognized the value of using technology and proven business practices to transform the way health education and screening is delivered in communities across South Africa.

Shout It Now developed an initial program in schools to educate children from an early age about HIV and associated risks, providing information on contraception and testing.


To meet their goal of testing large numbers of people with a high quality service delivered in a cost effective manner, Shout It Now needed a solution to model their processes and identify bottlenecks, enabling them to create a highly efficient service.

Prior to using SIMUL8, Shout It Now had a system that collected a range of data including the arrival times of each patient and the appointment duration. Shout It Now needed a way to use this data to drive decisions and improvements and so turned to operations research as the solution. They approached the University of Cape Town who demonstrated SIMUL8 for modeling this type of process and were “completely sold”.

I met some smart people with big hearts in the NGO sector but they didn’t have the business experience to deliver services comparable to what’s found in the private sector. I saw an opportunity to make a real impact on the epidemic by combining my business skills with the public health skills of a few talented colleagues. This was the basis for founding Shout It Now.

Bruce Forgrieve, Founder, Shout It Now.

The Result

Using SIMUL8, Shout It Now were able to create a robust process that sees 150 – 200 patients per day being educated, tested and directed to treatment centers. Through their work, a staggering 390,000 people have gone for an HIV test, placing them in the path of effective treatment to manage the disease.

This is a significant milestone for the charity and highlights the importance simulation brings to process improvement. Their achievements were recently recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) for best practices in HIV counseling, testing and care for adolescents. The charity was praised for its innovative approach to community-based HIV counseling and testing. Like those they have treated, Shout It Now has a bright future and is continuing its groundbreaking efforts to close the HIV testing gap in South Africa.

What's next for Shout It Now?

The Shout It Now Team is continuing to work on exciting new developments to increase the number of patients being treated. Working with SIMUL8 consultants, they are using SIMUL8 to develop a new process that would more than double the number of patients being treated, using no additional resources.

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