Green Williams, Mica
School of Arts & Sciences - Public Health Studies
Zambia-Project YES! Youth Engaging for Success (HIV+ youth transitioning to adult HIV care)
This position is a great opportunity to work with HIV+ youth and a committed research team in Ndola, Zambia. As adolescents and young adults living with HIV age into adulthood, they must navigate the transition to HIV self-management and adult care. This is a complex process, particularly for young people who must manage a chronic illness like HIV. Routine viral load data from Arthur Davison Children's Hospital (ADCH) in Ndola, Zambia revealed that approximately 50 percent of youth have VL failure (~1,000 copies/ml), underscoring the urgent need for new strategies to assist this population in adhering to care and treatment.
The study is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) at the individual level that uses a stepped wedge design to test a six-month peer-mentoring program among 144 youth in an intervention arm compared to 144 youth in a comparison arm. After the initial six months, the comparison group will receive the intervention. Assessments, including a survey and a blood draw for VL testing, will occur at baseline, at the end of the first six months, and at the end of 12 months. Resistance testing will also be conducted at baseline for those participants who have VL failure. After the first six months we will also conduct qualitative in-depth interviews with participants who were randomized to the intervention arm, their caregivers when possible, and the health care providers and peer mentors involved in the program. This data will provide contextual details and experiences to help interpret the study findings and determine what aspects of the intervention were valued by participants.
PI Mentor: Julie Denison