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NIMH Awards New Grant to Extend Masivukeni Project

Home > News & Updates > NIMH Awards New Grant to Extend Masivukeni Project

The HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, the University of Cape Town and the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching & Learning have received a $3 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to refine and test Masivukeni, a computer-supported HIV treatment adherence intervention for patients in South Africa. This five-year grant, led by Dr. Robert Remien, builds on a 2007 grant from the NIMH that facilitated the development and piloting of Masivukeni with assistance from scientists, healthcare providers, and governmental partners in Cape Town. This pilot received overwhelmingly positive feedback.

Masivukeni, which translates to 'Let's wake up!' in the Xhosa language, is a standardized curriculum of information, skills development, and motivational activities designed to help patients in South Africa stay on their antiretroviral medication. Masivukeni provides lay counselors with an intervention roadmap and scripts that help them communicate to their patients the importance of adherence to treatment plans with a standardized approach. In addition, the Masivukeni tool features interactive activities to help patients build their support network, develop problem-solving skills, visualize their pill regimen, and learn how HIV affects the body as viral resistance develops.

The planned update of Masivukeni will launch in two Cape Town clinics in 2012 as part of a randomized control trial intended to test whether patients who receive counseling with Masivukeni stay with their treatment plans better than those receiving standard counseling practices.

CCNMTL will receive approximately $500,000 of the funds to enhance the intervention and support its use throughout the study. "It's exciting to have the opportunity to expand on our successful pilot for a study that will reach many more patients in need," said Ryan Kelsey, CCNMTL's associate director of education and research and a co-investigator on this grant. "The HIV Center staff has been amazing collaborators, allowing CCNMTL to demonstrate its capabilities as a key participant in university-based international research and education endeavors."

The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) was founded at Columbia University in 1999 to enhance teaching and learning through the purposeful use of technology and new media. In partnership with faculty, the Center supports efforts ranging from basic course website management to advanced project development. CCNMTL also extends the scope and reach of its work with strategic initiatives that engage educators, researchers, librarians, partner institutions, and the community in the reinvention of education for the digital age. For more information, please visit

Related news:
Mar-14-2012: South Africa Trip Informs HIV Adherence Project
Dec-01-2011: CCNMTL Spotlights HIV Projects for World AIDS Day
Sep-22-2010: Masivukeni Featured in HIV Center E-Newsletter
Jul-08-2009: Masivukeni Pilot Underway in South Africa
Mar-19-2009: SMART+SA Pilot Launches in South Africa This Week
Mar-31-2008: South Africa Trip Informs Drug Adherence Project
Dec-17-2007: NIMH Funds Masivukeni/SMART+SA Project