Forming a Kanyakla: A qualitative study to develop a novel social support intervention for adolescents living with HIV

J Adolesc. 2018 Dec;69:203-211. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2018.10.006. Epub 2018 Nov 2.


Introduction: HIV is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among youth in sub Saharan Africa. This study explores the adaptation of an adult social network intervention for adolescents, entitled Kanyakla.

Methods: The study was conducted in Kisumu, Kenya from July to November 2016. Data was collected from: (1) semi-structured interviews (n = 32) with adolescents living with HIV aged 15-19; and (2) two focus group discussions (n = 21). Transcripts were coded using thematic analysis through the lens of an Adolescent Development Model.

Results: Participants were interested in joining a Kanyakla to build social support, learn new skills, and partake in recreational activities. Many participants feared inadvertent disclosure related to stigma. Certain dichotomous themes emerged including the need for privacy versus the need for social support; and the desire for inclusion of elders versus preference for same-aged peers in the Kanyaklas.

Conclusions: With this study, we have key information that can be applied to developing the Kanyakla intervention for adolescents. Further study is needed to reconcile the dichotomies that emerged.

Keywords: Adolescent; Disclosure; HIV/AIDS; Kenya; Microclinic; Social support; Stigma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Development
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Kenya
  • Male
  • Qualitative Research
  • Social Stigma
  • Social Support*
  • Young Adult