Mzantsi Wakho is a mixed-methods, longitudinal, community-traced study of ART adherence and sexual health practices among 1500 adolescents in South Africa. The study was established in mid-2013, and is currently in its third annual wave of quantitative data collection with a 94% retention rate and ongoing linked qualitative research. This research collaborates with adolescents, frontline healthcare workers to improve adherence to medicine and access to sexual and reproductive health services amongst high-risk adolescents. We are generating evidence that informs social policy and intervention design that supports young people living in AIDS-affected communities in South Africa.
The study was designed and conceptualised by Oxford University and the University of Cape Town (lead researchers: Dr Elona Toska, Dr Rebecca Hodes) in collaborative planning with HIV-positive adolescents, UNICEF and South African National Departments of Health, Social Development and Basic Education, alongside the Eastern Cape Department of Health, Frere and Cecilia Makiwane hospitals, NGO (Pediatric-Adolescent Treatment for Africa (PATA)), and community-based organisations (for example Kheth’Impilo, Raphael Centre, Small Projects Foundation and Keiskamma Trust).