The Essanyu Lya’abaana warriors’ camps are implemented by Miles of Smiles Foundation staff in collaboration with Ariel ambassadors, Young Generation Alive and YAPS National Trainers for a period of 5 residential nights. Over the years adolescents and young people have identified poor adherence to ARVs as one of the issues that they need to address because of the poor treatment outcomes registered among themselves which have made these individuals become virally un-suppressed. These adherence challenges may be attributed to a number of reasons including things like seeking independence from parents/caregivers, having little or no information about the importance of viral load suppression, dealing with the challenges of living with HIV and stigma & discrimination among others. In addition, Miles of Smiles was an Ariel camp theme in 2009 Ariel camps then under EGPAF were a platform for children living with HIV to meet other children like them, learn about HIV and how to take care of themselves. The Warrior’s camp is therefore a replica of the Ariel camps and the Power of hope camps with a focus on adolescents and young people with high viral loads and adherence challenges.

This background is what motivated us to design and plan for the warrior’s camps with the following objectives;                                                     

  • To achieve viral suppression for 95% of adolescents living with HIV/AIDS who will attend the Warrior’s camps through peer-to-peer adherence support and tailored age-appropriate viral load literacy sessions.
  • To develop the capacity of peer/youth leaders through ongoing trainings and mentorship from the experienced staff on how to support children, adolescents and young people to suppress their viral loads.