Ask, Boost, Connect, Discuss for Improved Mental Health of HIV+ Adolescent Mothers in Africa
Agnes Ronan, from Pediatric Adolescent Treatment Africa, in South Africa will develop a training and supervision tool for young health workers that combines screening and support in an accessible format to reduce depression in HIV-positive, adolescent mothers. There are an estimated two million adolescent mothers living with HIV in Africa, and stigma prevents many of them accessing health care. Young HIV-positive peer supporters work in local clinics and use informal chats, text messages, and home visits to support HIV-positive adolescents. However, they lack the skills to support the mental health of HIV-positive adolescent mothers. They will adapt existing cognitive behavioral therapy methods based on the WHO's Thinking Healthy program, and co-develop their approach with adolescent mothers, peer supporters, and developers. They will train 70 peer supporters from six southern African countries and each will recruit three HIV-positive adolescent mothers to test the approach.