ln this paper we share the way in which one of the assumptions at the outset of a longitudinal study of the resilience of HIV-positive mothers and their children, is challenged four years into the study – with specific reference to the employment status of the participants. The Kgolo Mmogo project investigates the resilience factors in mothers (n=440) and children (n=440) who are dealing with the affect and effects of HIV & AIDS. The study consists of long-term data collection on psychological resilience factors in both groups. The assessment data is paralleled by intervention research that tracks the effects of a group-based support intervention in which mothers and children are assigned to groups within a randomized control trial design.
ln designing the intervention, one of the base assumptions was that the study should allow for variance in the group-participation rates of the mothers, due to anticipated health fluctuations. As a result the intervention was designed to cater for home visits, should a mother be absent from three consecutive group sessions. However, preliminary data from the study indicate that absenteeism from groups is more often explained in terms of new employment, than in terms of health reasons. This preliminary finding may have implications for the design of interventions for mothers affected by HIV & AIDS in this era in which HIV treatments are available and HIV-infected women have a greater potential to remain healthy and enter the workforce. The Kgolo Mmogo project is funded by the National lnstitutes of Health (NIH), NIMH grant R01 MH076442-01; "Kgolo Mmogo" means "Growing together".