Sauti ya Vijana (SYV): A Mental Health Intervention to Improve HIV Outcomes Among Tanzanian Youth



Dept & School:

  • Department of pediatrics, School of Medicine


  • NIMH

Start Date:

End Date:

  • Ongoing

Sauti ya Vijana (SYV): A Mental Health Intervention to Improve HIV Outcomes Among Tanzanian Youth

Young people living with HIV (YPLWH, 10-24 years of age) are a growing population that experience unique mental health challenges that may compromise their HIV care. Despite the clear need, few evidence-based mental health interventions exist to address the difficulties faced by this important population. The long-term goal of our research is to provide developmentally appropriate, evidence-based mental health interventions that effectively prevent and treat HIV in young people, especially in low resource settings where the majority of the epidemic occurs. Sauti ya Vijana (SYV, The Voice of Youth), is a novel and innovative group-based mental health and life skills intervention designed with and for Tanzanian YPLWH to address the mental health and life challenges they have described in out prior research. The intervention consists of 10 group sessions (two joint with caregivers) and two individual sessions delivered by trained young adults living with HIV who have successfully transitioned to the adult clinic using a task sharing model that builds local capacity while overcoming the critical shortage of mental health professionals in this setting. SYV incorporates components of Trauma Informed-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, and Motivational Interviewing that during this critical neurodevelopmental period when foundations of self and social regulation are realized, may help to prevent or dramatically reduce severity of mental health symptoms.

Last updated on September 19, 2022