Goalkeepers Youth Action Accelerator


South Africa
“Depression and other mental health disorders are of particular concern in people with HIV. They can lead to patients refusing to take medication and/or engage sexual risk behavior. Access and adherence to treatment, and HIV knowledge are critical to ensure that individuals live longer and have healthier lives, but also help prevent the future spread of HIV. However, in South Africa, mental illness tends to be treated with more medication, rather than as a primary care problem which could be prevented.”

Her solution:


Photo by Hernán (CC-BY-NC-SA)

Khuluma, an initiative by the SHM Foundation, is a program empowering HIV positive teenagers to deliver support to their peers.

Participants are placed in closed support groups of 10 to 15 people who share similar experiences. These support groups are enabled by a digital platform where participants discuss – peer-to-peer, at any time via text message – a range of issues relating to their condition or needs.

Over the past 5 years we have provided support groups for over 200 HIV positive teenagers in South Africa and Zambia. We have also developed a mentor program using a ‘training the trainer’ model, where our participants are coached to deliver peer-to-peer psychosocial support in digital groups. Our mentors are also engaged in creative and participatory action research using different media, including analysing our text messages, as well as using photography and animation to express how HIV has impacted their lives.