Developing interventions that address psychosocial wellbeing of people living with HIV is critical to ensure strong linkages to and retention in HIV care. This paper describes the development of Sondela, an HIV adjustment and coping intervention for heterosexual men and women living with HIV, and its relevance and feasibility in the South African context. Sondela is a six three-hour, small group-based, participatory workshop series. We followed an iterative, multi-phased process of curriculum development that involved research, theoretical frameworks and piloting. A systematic review highlighted the absence of psychosocial interventions targeting heterosexual HIV positive populations living in high HIV prevalence and resource-poor settings. Formative studies demonstrated risk and social factors associated with adjustment and coping with HIV, emphasising the need for interventions that acknowledge gendered experiences. Our pilot of Sondela demonstrated high levels of relevance and feasibility. Men appreciated the workshop “space” to openly talk about their HIV positive status and what is means for their role as partners and fathers and friends. Women valued the skills and approaches because they were relevant to “real life” situations and not just about HIV. Sondela promises to be valuable in supporting health system initiatives and psychosocial support to strengthen linkages to and retention in HIV care, and this suggests a need for rigorous evaluation of Sondela to establish evidence for its effectiveness in a general population.