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Talking about viral load

A new set of resources has been produced by Zvandiri, with the support of UNICEF, to help children and young people understand viral load testing and the importance of achieving an undetectable viral load.

Research was carried out by CeSHHAR and Zvandiri and ‘Not just a number’ and ‘Taking Charge of HIV and accompanying comics and a set of activity cards were developed. These materials explore how young people can achieve an undetectable viral load and the potentially enabling effects of this on adherence and their own health and well-being, as well as onward disclosure and transitioning to adulthood. 

Understanding your viral load

The resources are aimed at young people and can be used during health facility visits, support group sessions or interactions between caregivers, peer supporters and young people. It is hoped that each animation can be used to stimulate discussion about the challenges of HIV treatment and the specific difficulties young people can face.

The two animated stories remind young people that there is support available to them and help them understand that achieving an undetectable viral load is possible. It is hoped that the animations can be shown to groups of young people or shared through the comic books, where presenting videos is not possible. A discussion guide explaining how to use the animations and cards has been developed and provides questions to get people talking about viral load testing.

All the materials can be found in the tools and materials pages of the website