Russell Armstrong is a senior research officer at HEARD. Since joining HEARD in 2017, he has led multi-country research projects in the African region on a range of topics, including access to HIV treatment, human rights, young key populations, and organisational development for advocacy for global health. He is also a senior technical consultant with a 20-year track record of supporting human rights and key population programming for governmental and nongovernmental stakeholders across the African continent.


Patrick Nyamaruze recently earned his PhD from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is currently completing a post-doctoral fellowship at HEARD. His areas of specialisation include adolescent sexual and reproductive health, gender and sexual diversity, mental health and health promotion research.




Across the southern African region, individuals from key populations, particularly young men who have sex with men (MSM) and young transgender women, have become priorities for HIV programming, including those already living with HIV. These efforts unfold in a context where the risks of stigma, discrimination and violence remain acute, however, based on sexual orientation, gender identity and health status, and where little is known about the influence of these stigmas on uptake and retention on anti-retroviral treatment (ART) and other health outcomes. This mixed-methods research project explored the influence of stigma on uptake and retention on ART for young HIV-positive MSM and transgender women in three settings (Malawi, Zambia and Zambia) drawing on the emerging concepts in stigma research of intersectionality and intersectional stigma, among others.


The results show that intersectional stigma remains a potent influence in the lives of these young people as they seek to live out their diverse identities and to embrace themselves as people living with HIV in harsh and marginalising socio-political contexts. The risks to ART adherence remain high for many in this group as the burden of intersectional stigma excerpts a strongly negative influence on their mental, spiritual and emotional health. There is an absence of robust programming in the region to address this burden, although many young participants had managed to build up their coping and resilience strategies to protect themselves and to sustain their commitment to ART.




Date: 15th of August 2023

Time: 10:00-11:00

Zoom Link: https://ukzn.zoom.us/j/95191058690?pwd=MjVHYkIyUzduNThTeDVOdS9VSDhaZz09   

Meeting ID: 951 9105 8690

Passcode: 558944


HEARD webinar August 2023