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Ask-Boost-Connect-Discuss (ABCD)

Ask-Boost-Connect-Discuss (ABCD) was designed as a platform to upskill peer supporters to address the psychosocial wellbeing of pregnant adolescents and young mothers living with HIV in low-resource settings. Peer supporters are young people ages 18-24 living with HIV who are engaged in service delivery, offering peer education, adherence and psychosocial support. ABCD offers a package of care that can be led by peer supporters which includes: screening psychosocial needs of young mothers (“Ask”), mental health support through structured sessions (“Boost”), help with accessing services (“Connect”), and ongoing supervision and self-care (“Discuss”). ABCD’s “Boost” content was adapted from the Thinking Healthy intervention.

Through programmatic feedback, ABCD has demonstrated feasibility and acceptability; in its current iteration, the team is assessing additional adjustments to content and structure that would enhance its effectiveness. The team aims to secure funding for rigorous evaluation for 2022 onwards, to robustly test the effectiveness of ABCD on maternal mental health, stigma, and HIV outcomes.


Associate Professor Elona Toska (Department of Sociology, University of Cape Town and Department of Social Policy and Intervention, Oxford University)
Dr Christina Laurenzi (Institute for Life Course Health Research, Department of Global Health, Stellenbosch University)
Dr Wylene Saal (Department of Sociology, University of Cape Town)
Agnes Ronan (Paediatric-Adolescent Treatment Africa)
Luann Hatane (Paediatric-Adolescent Treatment Africa)
Linda Ndlovu (Paediatric-Adolescent Treatment Africa)
Lynn Phillips (Paediatric-Adolescent Treatment Africa)
Eugene Mupakile (Paediatric-Adolescent Treatment Africa)
Faith Kiruthi (Paediatric-Adolescent Treatment Africa)
Blessings Banda (Paediatric-Adolescent Treatment Africa)

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