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The Centre for Sexual Health and HIV/Aids research (CeSHHAR) Zimbabwe

Introduction

The Africaid Zvandiri (‘As I am’) programme is a model of differentiated clinical service delivery for children and adolescents living with HIV in Zimbabwe developed in response to an identified need for tailored support services for these key populations.

Zvandiri combines community support groups, community outreach, Community Adolescent Treatment Supporters (CATS) and child and adolescent-focused Zvandiri Centres to directly influence children and young people’s experience of the HIV continuum of care.Integral to this is intensive ongoing support for adolescent and young people’s psychosocial well-being and mental health, wider sexual and reproductive health, economic empowerment and linkage to education and child protection services. The Zvandiri programme also includes an intervention for caregivers. Alongside delivering stronger health outcomes, through its close links with national public and private health and child welfare systems, it aims to build capacity within both the government systems and in family carers and other community members.

Preliminary evidence suggests that the Zvandiri programme has the potential to make a significant impact on the lives of adolescents living with HIV. Through PA Adolescents, a cluster randomised controlled trial is being conducted to evaluate the Zvandiri programme. The trial is being conducted by the Centre for Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Research (CeSHHAR) in Zimbabwe, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC), Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences. The intervention is implemented by Africaid and funded by ViiV Healthcare.