Picture of Kate Merrill

Kate Merrill, PhD and colleagues explored the safety protocol experiences for youth enrolled in Project YES! (Youth Engaging for Success), a peer-mentoring intervention for youth living with HIV in Zambia. The safety protocol was used for youth who reported severe violence and/or suicidal thoughts on research surveys or during meetings. The experiences of the safety protocol included in-depth interviews with youth and staff. The found that most youth felt “encouraged,” “helped,” “unburdened,” and “relieved” by their meetings with healthcare providers (HCP) while some expressed concerns about meeting with HCP. The researchers concluded that implementing a safety protocol within an HIV clinic-based research study is possible and beneficial for youth and HCP alike.

Merrill KG, Mwansa JK, Miti S, Burke VM, Abrams EA, Frimpong C, Decker MR, Campbell JC, Denison JA. Experiences with a violence and mental health safety protocol for a randomized controlled trial to support youth living with HIV. Glob Health Res Policy. 2021 Oct 15;6(1):40. doi: 10.1186/s41256-021-00224-0. PMID: 34654487; PMCID: PMC8518229.