We want to change the course of HIV - so we are free from the shadow it casts over us!

Our vision is to empower our generation to be a powerful force of change, ending the HIV epidemic in Africa by becoming the communicators in our communities that challenge HIV stigma, increase youth to youth support, HIV knowledge, reduce infections and support optimal adherence.

We will achieve this by empowering young people to drive the process of HIV communication and social change among our generation. We will enable young people to harness their creativity, facilitating community-based media that focuses on generating dialogue and participation throughout our communities; breaking the cycle of stigma and increasing HIV knowledge.

We will focus on two main areas of work:

1: To develop strategic partners and collaborations across sub-Saharan Africa. We will work alongside existing youth programmes, supporting them to adapt and integrate the SALUS approach into their existing programmes - building a youth-driven multi-national network of communicators dedicated to ending stigma and HIV across our continent.

2: To continue our work in South Africa, implementing our school’s outreach programme to empower thousands of young people to become the communicators in their communities - becoming the drivers of change that will end the HIV epidemic.

Meet the team...

The SALUS project was founded in 2016 by Dr Warren Hickson as part of an HIV communication project funded by ViiV Health. One of the principal aims of the pilot was to empower a team of young people from the community to become the drivers and owners of change communication in sub-Saharan Africa. Aphiwe Mtendeni is the SALUS project director. Mcebisi Sidlai leads creative direction. Senathi Sitengile is youth co-ordinator, Zikhona Dengile remains focussed on social media youth engagement.


Warren continues to mentor, co-develop strategy and oversee research and M&E. He is a member of the School of Public Health and Family Medicine at the University of Cape Town.

HIV - Voices from Africa

Adolescents and young people continue to be at the centre of the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. Tragically, HIV is now the leading cause of death among 10 to 24 year olds in Africa. Reducing infections continues to be a significant challenge. The Salus project piloted an intervention that explored the impact of a youth-centred psychosocial model which aimed to empower adolescents and young people who are living with HIV and struggeling with self-stigma to co-support one another. This podcast was made by the young people who participated in this pilot. They wanted to share their stories because they wanted to raise awareness about what it is like to experience stigma as someone who is born with HIV. The following podcast series was produced that showcases the voices of these very courageous young people who live with HIV and related stigma.