M-Suubi: A Multi-level integrated intervention to reduce the impact of HIV stigma on HIV treatment outcomes among adolescents living with HIV in Uganda

Principal Investigator: Fred M. Ssewamala, PhD; Massy Mutumba, PhD (University of Michigan)

Co-Investigators:  Proscovia Nabunya, PhD; Ozge Sensoy Bahar, PhD; Shenyang Guo, PhD; Yesim Tozan, PhD (New York University)

Study Consultant: Torsten Neilands, PhD (University of California – San Francisco)

Research Collaborators: Abel Mwebembezi (Reach the Youth-Uganda); Barbara Mukasa (Mildmay-Uganda); James Mugisha, PhD (Makerere University)

This five year study examines the impact of a multilevel intervention (M-Suubi), that combines group-based HIV stigma reduction training for educators and multiple family groups for HIV stigma reduction with a family economic empowerment intervention on HIV treatment adherence and engagement in care among Adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) attending boarding schools in Uganda. The study will enroll 840 ALHIV recruited from 42 schools in the greater Masaka region, a region heavily affected by HIV. M-Suubi will be provided for 20 months, with assessments at baseline, 12, 24 and 36 months. Findings may inform combination intervention efforts to optimize HIV treatment outcomes and engagement in care among ALHIV.