SUUBI+Adherence: Evaluating a Youth-Focused Economic Empowerment Approach to HIV Treatment Adherence
Principal Investigator: Fred Ssewamala, PhD
Project Team Members: Claude Mellins, PhD, Mary McKay, PhD, Irwin Garfinkel, PhD, Torsten Neilands, PhD, Godfrey Kigozi, PhD, Gertrude Nakigozi, PhD
Field Coordinators: Apollo Kivumbi, MPH(2012-2013), Miriam Mukasa (2013-Present)
Research Collaborators: Abel Mwebembezi (Reach the Youth-Uganda), Fr. Kato Bakulu (Masaka Diocese)
SUUBI+Adherence is a five-year longitudinal study (2012-2017) funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institutes of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD). It examines the impact and cost associated with an economic empowerment intervention to increase adherence to HIV treatment for HIV positive adolescents in Uganda. The study is the first in Uganda to use a financial stability model to positively affect treatment adherence for youth. The study intervention, financial empowerment, combines a matched savings account, financial education, health education, and income-generating activities. This is meant to promote saving money for study participants and their families so there is sufficient income to meet the needs associated with managing HIV as a chronic illness, to provide support for adherence to antiretroviral therapy, to develop microenterprises to generate family income, and/or to further their studies in secondary education.