The Vhutshilo series

The Vhutshilo Series consist of three curricula that aim to keep young people between the ages of 10 and 18 safe from HIV, STIs and in the case they are already HIV+ safe from reinfection and faithful to their ARV regime. Go to the Vhutshilo website for more information.

Vhutshilo 1

The curriculum was originally developed in 2006/7 and has been updated and expanded in 2016.The curriculum was originally developed in 2006/7 and a research study on the pilot was conducted by the HSRC. An additional survey of the implementation of Vhutshilo 1 in 2015 resulted in the recommendation that the curriculum needs to be updated and strengthened, changing from a peer led intervention to a youth facilitator approach. A Trainer's Manual was also developed which allows for a Master Trainer to explore the underlying pedagogy of Vhutshilo and provides ways to mentor and support youth facilitators.

The changes to Vhutshilo 1 include reworking all the artwork. Sessions were added on values, strengthened sexuality, puberty and negotiation skills. The improvements considered alignment to the DREAMS intervention outcomes and promotes the concept of encouraging 5 friends and mentorship.

Vhutshilo 1 has 13 sessions, each an hour in duration.

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Vhutshilo 2

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Vhutshilo 2 is an intervention targeting the 14 – 17/18-year-old age group (designed for secondary school age which may include learners older than 18 years who are still in school).

The curriculum was originally developed in 2008/9 and a research project on the pilot was conducted by the HSRC. The intervention was also part of an RCT study with World Vision in 2012/2013 in the Eastern Cape conducted by Tulane University for USAID. An additional survey of 13 prevention curricula in South Africa, conducted by FHI 360 (2013) on request from USAID, recommended that Vhutshilo 2 was one of the ‘go to’ curriculum for prevention in South Africa (with some additions to the curriculum content).

Extensive upgrading of the curriculum was finalised over 2015/6 and is the prevention intervention for selected ASPIRES and DREAMS partners. During 2015, HETTAS worked with the ASPIRES project and the FHI 360 prevention team to provide T&TA support to five PEPFAR OVC partners: NACCW, NACOSA, FF, CINDI and HIVSA. The second level changes, supported by FHI 360 included the recommendation from USAID to include information on intergenerational exchange dating (the ‘Blesser’ concept), dating violence and consent for sex, additional information to support facilitators and an orientation to DREAMS.

Vhutshilo 3

Vhutshilo 3 is a sequence of 14 sessions co-facilitated by a team of young adult facilitators leading groups of between 15 to 17 HIV-positive adolescent participants, both male and female, between the ages of 14-18.

Each session’s learning activities target different learning objectives; but every session also provides fun, connection among participants, facilitators, and offers a safe place to express emotion and ask for help. One of the goals of the programme is for participants to recognise that they possess considerable skills, strength, and wisdom to support one another.

The curriculum is accompanied by a Trainer's Manual that deals specifically with the additional complexities of supporting HIV positive youth.
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How Vhutshilo is implemented

For a quick look at how the Vhutshilo series work, click here for more information.