Hlanganani Plus

The SHM Foundation is excited to announce that they have partnered with the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation on a new iteration of Project Khuluma based in South Africa.

Khuluma is a support group innovation for HIV+ adolescents living in South Africa based on the Zumbido Model. A mental health-tech innovation, The SHM Foundation’s Zumbido Model has developed over 10 years of work done on the ground with different global demographics who are living with HIV, including in Mexico, Zambia, South Africa and UK.

While many people living with HIV now have access to medications, there is still little resources for providing mental health support – this is despite the recognition that living with a chronic medical condition such as HIV has an extensive impact on mental health and wellbeing. In not providing the support, sufferers can often have trouble adhering to medication and dealing with the daily stigma that is associated with HIV, thus putting their overall health at great risk.

South Africa has the largest HIV epidemic in the world, with approximately 7.1 million people living with HIV. Although the epidemic is now considered relatively stable amongst adults, the incidence and prevalence of HIV amongst adolescents and young adults continues to rise (UNAIDS, 2013) with over 720,000 adolescents living with HIV (Fairlie et al., 2014).

Hlanganani Plus grows Khuluma’s success with a collaboration with the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation in Cape Town. Hlanganani Plus will provide immediate access to peer support to HIV+ South African adolescents via mobile phone technology. Community-integrated, small groups of the adolescents have the opportunity to share amongst each other, building an organic and accessible support structure.

The project includes working with both adolescents who have been living with HIV since birth and those who contracted the disease later in their lives, as well as those who are virally suppressed and some who are not. As part of the project, there will also be an 18-week educational project provided via their mobile phones.

Last month, we trained HIV positive adolescents to be mentors and facilitate the program. The mentors working on the project have been part of the Khuluma family for up to 3 years and are key to figuring Khuluma’s ongoing success in helping to improve the lives of HIV+ adolescents. As the project develops over the following weeks, follow @SHMFoundation for updates on the incredible work being done by the mentors, the positive changes taking place in the lives of HIV+ adolescents, and the future of the Khuluma and the Zumbido Model.

Published on: 24-08-2018

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