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Thetha Nami: participatory development of a peer-navigator intervention to deliver biosocial HIV prevention for adolescents and youth in rural South Africa

Shahmanesh, M; Okesola, N; Chimbindi, N; Zuma, T; Mdluli, S; Mthiyane, N; Adeagbo, O; ... Seeley, J; + view all (2021) Thetha Nami: participatory development of a peer-navigator intervention to deliver biosocial HIV prevention for adolescents and youth in rural South Africa. BMC Public Health , 21 (1) , Article 1393. 10.1186/s12889-021-11399-z. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Despite effective biomedical tools, HIV remains the largest cause of morbidity/mortality in South Africa - especially among adolescents and young people. We used community-based participatory research (CBPR), informed by principles of social justice, to develop a peer-led biosocial intervention for HIV prevention in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). METHODS: Between March 2018 and September 2019 we used CBPR to iteratively co-create and contextually adapt a biosocial peer-led intervention to support HIV prevention. Men and women aged 18-30 years were selected by community leaders of 21 intervention implementation areas (izigodi) and underwent 20 weeks of training as peer-navigators. We synthesised quantitative and qualitative data collected during a 2016-2018 study into 17 vignettes illustrating the local drivers of HIV. During three participatory intervention development workshops and community mapping sessions, the peer-navigators critically engaged with vignettes, brainstormed solutions and mapped the components to their own izigodi. The intervention components were plotted to a Theory of Change which, following a six-month pilot and process evaluation, the peer-navigators refined. The intervention will be evaluated in a randomised controlled trial ( NCT04532307 ). RESULTS: Following written and oral assessments, 57 of the 108 initially selected participated in two workshops to discuss the vignettes and co-create the Thetha Nami (`talk to me'). The intervention included peer-led health promotion to improve self-efficacy and demand for HIV prevention, referrals to social and educational resources, and aaccessible youth-friendly clinical services to improve uptake of HIV prevention. During the pilot the peer-navigators approached 6871 young people, of whom 6141 (89%) accepted health promotion and 438 were linked to care. During semi-structured interviews peer-navigators described the appeal of providing sexual health information to peers of a similar age and background but wanted to provide more than just "onward referral". In the third participatory workshop 54 peer-navigators refined the Thetha Nami intervention to add three components: structured assessment tool to tailor health promotion and referrals, safe spaces and community advocacy to create an enabling environment, and peer-mentorship and navigation of resources to improve retention in HIV prevention. CONCLUSION: Local youth were able to use evidence to develop a contextually adapted peer-led intervention to deliver biosocial HIV prevention.

Type: Article
Title: Thetha Nami: participatory development of a peer-navigator intervention to deliver biosocial HIV prevention for adolescents and youth in rural South Africa
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-021-11399-z
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-11399-z
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Adolescents, Community-based participatory research, HIV, Health promotion, Peer-led, Pre-exposure prophylaxis, Sexual health, Social capital, South Africa, Young people
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10131509
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