CIDRZ partners with Grassroot Soccer Zambia to promote ART by Adolescents Living with HIV through Soccer

The Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) has partnered with Grassroot Soccer Zambia to train adolescents as coaches that would promote adherence to ART by adolescents living with HIV in Eastern province through soccer. CIDRZ was supported by the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This training will help to improve retention amongst Adolescents who are on ART and eventually contribute to achieve the last 90% of the UNAIDS 90:90:90 strategy: which is to ensure that 90% of patients who are put on ART have their Viral Load suppressed thereby improving the quality of life for people living with HIV.

According to the CIDRZ Paediatric Implementation Officer for Chipata District, Mr Mambwe, “We organised this training after observing that a good number of adolescents on ART have high viral load. So we decided to partner with Grassroots Soccer in order for us to have a training package that responds to the needs of this age group by using novel ideas and means.”

In the first training, 15 adolescents living with HIV, between the ages of 18 – 24 were trained in the SKILLZ Coaching, which are adolescent-tailored sessions/practices. The training consists of 11 sessions covering topics such as: Understanding HIV, Joining the SKILLZ Cycle, Avoiding Risks, Adherence, Disclosure among others.

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