The adaptation and initial evaluation of an intervention to promote mental health outcomes of adolescents living with HIV in rural Kenya


  • Moses Nyongesa

    KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme

Project summary

Millions of adolescents in Africa live with HIV. Earlier studies indicate that adolescents living with HIV infection (ALHIV) are increasingly experiencing mental health problems. Such adolescents are at risk of abusing drugs, engaging in risky sexual behaviours and also report problems with adhering to their medical regimen. Evidence from other parts of the world, collected mostly about adults living with HIV infection, suggest that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a feasible, acceptable and effective way to address mental health problems in people living with HIV. However, there have been no published studies that have evaluated the extent to which this intervention may be helpful to ALHIV experiencing mental health problems.

This study evaluates the extent to which computer-based CBT addresses the mental health problems of ALHIV. This intervention will be made user friendly and fit for use. In its evaluation, 50 14-17-year-old ALHIV with mental health problems will be divided into two groups – those receiving the intervention (n=25) and those that will wait to receive the intervention later (n=25). A measure evaluating mental health functioning among the participants will be administered at the start and at the end of the intervention.

This grant was awarded under the scheme's previous name of Master's Fellowships in Public Health and Tropical Medicine.