2015 | South Africa
The VUKA Family Program: Promoting resilience in perinatally HIV infected adolescents in South Africa
The VUKA Family programme is targeted to helping perinatally HIV infected early adolescent children and their caregivers thrive in the context of serious challenges associated with a chronic, potentially fatal, sexually transmittable, and highly stigmatising illness. Without intervention youth are likely to face considerable adversity in dealing with the developmental complexities associated with perinatal HIV. The challenge of living with HIV is complicated by a number of environmental factors that include poverty, educational levels of caregivers and safety characteristics associated with the home and neighbourhood. This paper examines the baseline data from a randomized clinical trial of VUKA taking place in community based clinics in KwaZulu-Natal South Africa. Adolescent adaptation to HIV is examined in relation to how internalised and externalised stigma interacts with protective factors such as self-regulation and self-esteem. In addition, the role of protective factors including parental monitoring, family communication and social support is considered as they directly or indirectly affect mental health outcomes among both children and their caregivers. The examination of the pathways of influence among these variables help shed light on the characteristics important to promoting resilience among HIV+ adolescents in South Africa.
Bhana, A., Mellins, A., Nestadt, D., Small, L., Petersen, I., Machanyangwa, S., Leu, C. S, & McKay, M. (2015, June) The VUKA Family Program: Promoting resilience in perinatally HIV infected adolescents in South Africa. Pathways to Resilience III Conference: Beyond Nature vs. Nurture. Halifax, Canada.