The project will seek to increase the capacities of HIV+ adolescents and young mothers to mitigate the challenges of self-stigma that exacerbate the feeling of self worthlessness, shame and self-blame because of being HIV+; resulting into emotional distress and negative impacts on access to HIV health services, adherence to ART and overall quality of life at individual, family and community levels.
Self-stigma on adolescents has had an overwhelming negative impact on their wellbeing. For HIV adolescents, self-stigma has become an ingredient for them to engage in illicit activities such as drug abuse, excessive beer drinking, unsafe sex and smoking of marijuana. The Drug enforcement Commission of Zambia (2020) attests to this fact and states that, self-stigma among HIV adolescents contributes to approximately 48% of drug abuse and mental health cases in the Copperbelt region alone. S]]
At individual level; 1. The project will seek to provide regular psychosocial counselling through trained psychosocial counsellors, peer to peer support, safe space discussions etc. 2. The project will also provide information and awareness rising on the dangers of self-stigma using ICT (Information Communication Technology) tools and offline materials. The ICT tools will be installed with animated videos providing information/awareness in local languages on different topics including:
The outlook for project success will border on the following Outcomes/Impact of the project. 1. Improved wellbeing and quality of life among HIV+ adolescents and young mothers 2. Improved social interaction and relations among HIV+ adolescents and young mothers with their families, community members and health personnel. 3. Improved HIV care and treatment for HIV+ adolescents and young mothers. 4. Reduced HIV mortality rates among HIV+ adolescents and young mothers