Young people 15 – 24 year olds account for nearly half of all new HIV infection worldwide. Yet, a PHRU-initiated 2007 survey highlighted significant gaps related to adolescent health needs. In response, PHRU established Kganya Motsha—a dedicated adolescent clinic located in Kliptown, Soweto. Meaning “Shine Young Ones” in SeSotho, Kagnya Motsha has offered comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and HIV care and prevention services to adolescents (aged 14 to 24 years) since 2008. In an effort to reduce the HIV and STI prevalence among Sowetan adolescents, Kgnaya Motsha strives to provide team-based services that are youth friendly, confidential and empowering to adolescents and the community.

In addition to these services the centre also developed a research arm in recognition of adolescent’s historic exclusion from critical biomedical and psychosocial research. Integrating research into the centre activities enables and guides improved, evidence-based HIV prevention and adolescent programming. In this marriage of service and research, Kganya Motsha’s mission is to provide health care services informed by research evidence that take into consideration the cultural, social, economic and political factors that influence health.

While Kganya Motsha’s primary services include HIV testing, treatment and management, pregnancy testing, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), referral for medical male circumcision, psychosocial support and referral to other health care services, much of Kganya Motsha’s work takes place outside the clinic walls. Staff engage in outreach to local schools, training peer educators and building vital community partnerships. Since opening, Kganya Motsha has become widely known and has formed effective partnerships with area high schools, nongovernmental organizations and government departments including the South African Health and Welfare and Education and Security departments.

In a separate but equally exciting initiative, PHRU began offering medical male circumcision in 2010. Medical male circumcision has been shown to be 50 to 60 percent effective at preventing HIV among men. The Khula Ndoda clinic, opened the same year, offers free male circumcisions to residents of Soweto and surrounding communities.

Clinical Trials and Research

PHRU conducts a wide range of research under the watchful eye of its adolescent community advisory board (CAB). Studies have explored HIV and STI prevention, counselling methods and attitudes, parent-adolescent communications and the effects of adult morbidity and mortality on household welfare and the well being of children. PHRU, together with our partners, developed the necessary ethical-legal framework for adolescent involvement in vaccine trials and, today, we pride ourselves on being one of only two international sites involved in adolescent HIV vaccine preparatory work funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Learn more about our ongoing clinical trials and research studies.


Learn more about Kganya Motsha.

Learn more about Khula Ndoda and free medical male circumcision.

Adolescent Voices

PHRU worked alongside members of the Adolescent Community Advisory Board (CAB) to produce a documentary film about the youth of Soweto, South Africa. After participating an interactive and instructional workshop, CAB members were armed with video cameras they used to interview themselves and friends. The resulting film, Botsha Bophelo, the Youth and Their Lives, explores the adolescents’ lives and concerns, giving the viewer a glimpse of what it’s like to grow up in Soweto.

Botsha Bophelo (Youth & Their Lives)

Smangaliso (19 years old)

Vele (17 years old)

Gift (15 years old)

Thando (18 years old)

Slhle (16 years old)

Nomsa (15 years old)

Esther (20 years old) & Julia (15 years old)