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The University of Southampton
Couples HEalth Research and Intervention Studies (CHERISH)

AIDS Impact Conference 2019

Published: 29 August 2019
Nuala McGrath and Guy Harling
Nuala McGrath and Guy Harling at AIDSImpact 2019

Now in it’s 14th year, AIDS Impact is a key date in the calendars of psychologists, behavioural researchers, health economists and policy makers from universities and institutes across all five continents. It is the perfect opportunity to share academic work, intervention studies and prevention schemes with colleagues passionate about HIV/AIDS prevention and care.

For Nuala the conference was also an opportunity to meet up with colleagues from the Africa Health Research Institute, fellow academics involved in our couples-focused HIV testing and counselling study.  Our contact with the team in South Africa is largely through Skype, Zoom and emails, so the chance to meet face-to-face is a welcome and enjoyable opportunity to catch up with the academics who have been involved in Nuala’s work for many years. As you may expect, the conference was hugely enjoyable but also a lot of work. UoS was represented extensively across poster displays and in a number of presentations – we like to seize every opportunity to promote our work!

Representing the work of UoS, Victoria HosegoodAnn Berrington and Nuala presented their work during the Children in Focus section of the conference, Trends in the prevalence and incidence of orphanhood in children and adolescents in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, 2000-2014. 

Nuala’s NIH-funded work was represented in several sessions. These covered the development of a peer-led programme to improve uptake and retention in multi-level HIV prevention for adolescent girls and young women in rural South Africa (led by Maryam Shahmanesh) and a tablet-based application to support early HIV testing among men in rural KwaZulu-Natal (part of the project investigating whether HIV hotspots can be eradicated) led by Oluwafemi Adeagbo.


Addressing the difficulties and social barriers that women and adolescent girls experience when accessing HIV prevention interventions, Thandiwe Nondumiso Mthiyane, discussed the association between HIV-related vulnerabilities and awareness and uptake of multilevel DREAMS HIV prevention interventions in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa as well as an oral poster session, ‘Common mental health disorders and HIV status among Adolescent Girls and Young Women in rural KwaZulu-Natal.’


A final session, ‘Sex work and sex workers’, ‘HIV PrEP for female-sex-workers in the context of combination HIV prevention: Impact on community-wide awareness, uptake and perceptions in a rural area KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa’ (led by Natsayi Chimbindi) concluded three days of intense work by Nuala and colleagues.



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