Phakamani Moyo, Peer Counsellor at United Bulawayo Hospital, Paediatric Adolescent Treatment Africa (PATA) and IAS 2018 Youth Champion for youth-friendly HIV service delivery

What was the highlight of AIDS 2018 for you?

There were several highlights of AIDS 2018 for me. Children, adolescents and young people were at the centre and front of everything, from the pre-conference to the main conference. We had interesting youth-led sessions that focused on youth empowerment.

The range of workshops on differentiated service delivery for young people were so informative, especially those led by the IAS and PATA – and by young people. One of my take-home messages came from the Adolescent HIV Treatment Coalition. I learned that, as advocates and activists, we have to keep the movement alive because change is a process that may take time. I was excited to be among the young people who developed content on demand creation for the Youth pre-conference. It was also exciting to see other countries giving evidence-based reports on how DSD is changing the service delivery system to suit the needs of young people.

How did you first become involved in differentiated service delivery?

This journey started in 2012 when I became a PATA peer supporter in its Expert Patient Programme, working hand in hand with nurses and counsellors for better service delivery for young people in partnership with the ministry of health. In general, at the facility and out of the facility, I provide psychosocial support, adherence counselling, home visits and community education on sexual and reproductive rights (SRH).

What’s your definition of “youth-friendly HIV service delivery”?

Young people want HIV and SRH services that are comprehensive and integrated. This includes private and confidential HIV prevention, treatment and monitoring, supportive psychosocial and mental health services, and counselling. Services should recognize that young people are diverse and strive to be safe and inclusive. Of course, they should be accessible to each and every young person.

Can you tell us about your role as an IAS Youth Champion for youth-friendly HIV service delivery? 

My role as an IAS Youth Champion is to break the barriers between young people and friendly service delivery, to build bridges that can be used by young people to access health services. I am also a treatment buddy for adolescents and young people to help them suppress their viral load. And I work to improve the quality of care and range of services available for young people living with HIV through evidence-based advocacy.

What is your job as part of the PATA advisory panel?

On the Youth advisory panel, I work closely with the P2Z steering committee to support the coalition’s various events and programmes. My duties are to:

  • Empower peer supporters from P2Z countries to be effective advocates of sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and access to HIV services across southern Africa
  • Build an audience of proactive young leaders among fellow peer supporters and young people living with HIV and link them to technical resources, tools and opportunities for capacity-building training
  • Raise the visibility of adolescent and youth peer supporters with a focus on improving access to HIV and SRHR services to highlight facility-level concerns and gaps
  • Promote the meaningful role of facility-based peer supporters and young people living with HIV in planning, delivering and monitoring services that affect them
  • Facilitate the development and dissemination of youth-driven advocacy messages.

What do you want people to know about differentiated service delivery for youth and young people in Zimbabwe?

Differentiated service delivery is the way to go. We look at how best the services can be provided to clients. This is a model that comes with putting the clients first and providing them with quality service delivery. DSD not only improves quality of care, but also access to treatment for young people living with HIV. DSD for young people is innovative and accessible, particularly in my country, Zimbabwe, which has peer-led service delivery. DSD overcomes some of the challenges of the previous one-size-fits-all approach to HIV treatment because as young people, we are all the same, but diverse in our own ways, and DSD recognizes that we are different. This is very important for youth-friendly HIV service delivery.