IMARA South Africa LogoCDIS researchers, in partnership with investigators at the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation conducted a pilot test of Informed Motivated Aware and Responsible Adolescents and Adults- South Africa (IMARA-SA) on anxiety, depression, and trauma in South African adolescent girls and young women (AGYW). IMARA-SA is an empirically supported culturally adapted family-based HIV-prevention program.

The study found that mental health is implicated in risky sexual behavior, and reducing emotional distress can mitigate exposure to poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes, justifying replication in a larger randomized trial.

Donenberg G, Merrill KG, Atujuna M, Emerson E, Bray B, Bekker LG. Mental health outcomes of a pilot 2-arm randomized controlled trial of a HIV-prevention program for South African adolescent girls and young women and their female caregivers. BMC Public Health. 2021 Nov 30;21(1):2189. doi: 10.1186/s12889-021-12010-1. PMID: 34847908; PMCID: PMC8630514.