Enhanced m-health mental health screening for adolescents living with HIV transitioning into adult care (EMMATAC Study)

Growing evidence indicates that around half of all adolescents and young adults living with HIV experience mental health difficulties in Africa. The transition into adult care and psycho-social stressors may augment mental health illness symptoms and contributes to poor viral suppression. Despite this, less than 1% of adolescents and young adults living with HIV (AYALHIV) receive mental health screening as part of routine care in resource-limited settings that often have a scarcity of health care workers. Little is known about the determinants of mental health in this population.

Through a three-year study funded by EDCTP2 at 147,450 euros, under the mentorship of Prof. Elizabeth Bukusi RCTP-KEMRI and Prof. Lukoye Atwoli- AKUH; clinical research scientist Dr. Nyawira Gitahi; seeks to address this mental health gap in this vulnerable population. The study investigates the feasibility, acceptability and adoptability of a self-administered m-health-based mental health screening tool among 765 adolescents and young adults living with HIV in eight research sites in Nairobi County.

This study will utilize an implementation science framework approach to investigating the barriers and facilitators of mental health self -screening as perceived by health care workers and the adolescents themselves. This project also investigates the prevalence and severity of Depressive illness, Generalised anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and Substance abuse in this AYALWHIV psycho-social determinants of mental health illnesses and resulting virological outcomes among older adolescents and young adults.


Phone: +254 722 387 231
Name: Dr. Nyawira Gitahi

This project is part of the EDCTP2 Programme supported by the European Union