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HIV related stigma is a significant barrier to HIV management. Yet very little research has explored this phenomenon, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. We conducted a qualitative study in partnership with young people living with HIV, Beyond Stigma and CeSHHAR to explore the beliefs, experiences and impacts of HIV self-stigma amongst adolescents and young adults in Harare, Zimbabwe. Read the article here
We found HIV-related negative self-perceptions were described by all respondents in the study, associated with stigmatizing beliefs that adversely affected respondents’ quality of life.
This research has informed the development of a CATS-led self-stigma intervention – called Wakakosha, meaning ‘We are worth it’. Named and co-created by young people living with HIV, drawing on their own experiences of living with the self-stigma and shame that surrounds HIV, Wakakosha offers a unique, peer-led, evidence-based intervention to address self-stigma and improve quality of life for young people. This has been made possible with support from ViiV Health Care’s Positive Action. More coming soon on Wakakosha!
Thank you to the incredible young people from Zvandiri who shared so openly and so generously gave their time in this study.