Zvandiri: Peer Counseling to Improve Adolescent HIV Care and Support

The Zvandiri program, run by Africaid, began in Zimbabwe in 2004 as a support group for adolescents living with HIV. Community Adolescent Treatment Supporters (CATS),  HIV- positive people aged 18-24 years, work between health facilities and the homes of youth living with HIV (YLHIV) to increase uptake of testing, linkage, and retention in care, adherence, and services related to sexual and reproductive and mental health. Monthly community-based support groups, community outreach teams, and clinic-based Zvandiri Centers provide safe spaces for accessing clinical and social services and linking adolescents to other forms of assistance, while educating individuals on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and life skills. Through these interventions, the Zvandiri program builds mental, emotional, and physical resilience.