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Impacts of HIV/AIDS on South African Children and Adolescents


I hold a Research Associateship in the Centre for Evidence-Based Intervention, University of Oxford, where I have an ongoing collaboration with Dr Lucie Cluver on projects examining the impacts of familial HIV/AIDS on psychosocial outcomes for South African children.


The Young Carers Project


The 'Young Carers' project is a research study to assess the problems experienced by children living in families affceted by HIV/AIDS and to identify what factors can help them. The study is part of the National Action Committee for Children Affected by AIDS programme and is run in close collaboration with the South African Government (Department of Social Development, Department of Health, Department of Basic Education, and Department of Agriculture). Government and NGOs are using the findings of this study to develop policy, programming, and targeted interventions. Data collection on this project has now finished and analysis is ongoing.


The Young Carers project was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (UK), National Research Foundation (South Africa), Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (University of KwaZulu-Natal), Nuffield Foundation (UK), John Fell Fund (Oxord University Press), Claude Leon Foundation, and the South African National Department of Social Development.


Pathways to Survival: Identifying factors associated with ART adherence in HIV+ adolescents


The Pathways to Survival project aims to identify psychosocial, family level, and service level factors that may be associated with anti-retroviral adherence in HIV+ adolescents in South Africa. The study is a direct collaboration with UNICEF, UNAIDS, the South African Government (Department of Social Development, Department of Health and Department of Basic Education), and NGOs. The study will track adolescents through the health system over two years, using rigorous virologic and other measures of adherence, with a theoretical framework of interlinking risk and resilience-promoting factors for adherence, including mental health, family and cultural factors, romantic relationships and health services experiences. By identifying potentially modifiable intervening factors for improving adolescent adherence, and by effectively disseminating these findings, this study will inform evidence-based interventions for an expanding and highly vulnerable group.


The Pathways to Survival project is funded by the Nuffield Foundation (UK) and the International AIDS Society.

The full Wave 1 questionnaire is available here

[Note: This is large file and may take a while to download].

The full Wave 2 questionnaire is available here 

[Note: This is large file and may take a while to download].

The protocol for the referral of vulnerable children is available here.


Preventing Abuse of Children in the Context of AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa (PACCASSA)


Our programme of research has demonstrated heightened levels of physical, sexual and emotional abuse amongst children in AIDS-affected families. Despite increasing calls for intervention studies addressing child abuse in the developing world, to date no interventions or research have targeted this high-risk group of AIDS-affected children. The PACCASSA project will develop and test, using a randomised controlled trial design, an evidence-based parenting intervention to prevent and reduce child abuse within AIDS-affected families in South Africa.


The PACCASSA project is funded by the European Research Council.


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