Policy Brief Redefining childhood vulnerability to HIV

Childhood vulnerability cuts across all development programming and planning, including the sectors of HIV and AIDS, health, child protection and social protection. Understanding indicators of childhood vulnerability in general and to HIV in particular, could help practitioners identify vulnerable children more accurately and spend money accordingly.

This policy brief by UNICEF looks at the factors indicate vulnerability for children and adolescents to HIV.

Click here to download the Policy Brief 

Good Practice Guide: Adolescent HIV programming, READY – Here we come!

A greater understanding of HIV in high prevalence countries has increased awareness of the need to prioritise adolescents in HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

This Good Practice Guide was developed by International HIV/AIDS Alliance to offer programme managers and service providers concrete implementation guidance and support as they seek to address adolescents’ needs more effectively. It is intended to shape a provider’s approach and work so that adolescents living with HIV and those from key populations can obtain the services they need and live healthy, productive lives.  

Click here to download the Good Practice Guide 

“Not Taking it Will Just be Like a Sin”: Young People Living with HIV and the Stigmatization of Less-Than-Perfect Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy

Research by Sarah Bernays, Sara Paparini, Janet Seeley and Tim Rhodes explores young people’s perspectives and understanding on adherence to HIV antiretroviral therapy and the place of the clinics. 


Global health priorities are being set to address questions on adherence to HIV antiretroviral therapy in adolescence. Few studies have explored young people’s perspectives on the complex host of social and relational challenges they face in dealing with their treatment in secret and their condition in silence. In redressing this, we present findings from a longitudinal qualitative study with young people living with HIV in the UK, Ireland, US, and Uganda, embedded within the BREATHER international clinical trial. Drawing from Goffman’s notion of stigma, we analyze relational dynamics in HIV clinics, as rare spaces where HIV is“known,” and how young people’s relationships may be threatened by non-adherence to treatment. Young people’s reflections on and strategies for maintaining their reputation as patients raise questions about particular forms of medicalization of HIV and the moralization of treatment adherence that affect them, and how these may restrict opportunities for care across the epidemic.

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Promising Practices in Integrating HIV and SRH Services for Adolescents and Young People Living with HIV

Evidence shows that adolescents and young people access to comprehensive SRH information and services leads to improved health outcomes. Currently many existing SRH services are not comprehensive and do not meet the unique needs of adolescents and young people. This promising practice brief highlights successful facility- level models that respond to the unique SRH service needs of AYPLHIV.

This document draws on data from six surveys submitted from PATA network members and partners through a call for promising models of practice in comprehensive HIV and SRH services.

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Promising Practices in Peer Support for Adolescents and Young People Living with HIV

The principles of peer engagement are increasingly being applied to support populations of adolescents and young people living with HIV (AYPLHIV). As a critical key population of people living with, and at risk of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, a focus on peer support is timely. This promising practice brief highlights the importance of peer-to-peer dialogue and engagement as both a significant challenge and a powerful opportunity.

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Mmata Tswana (My Partner) - Community Caregiver Support Groups to Improve ART Adherence Amongst Adolescents Living with HIV

The Mmata Tswana model is a community caregiver support group model which offers an opportunity for caregivers to:

  • Meet, discuss and learn from one another about ART adherence and caring for adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV);
  • Provide psychosocial support to one another;
  • Offer general care-giving support to one another by, for example accompanying each other’s children for scheduled appointments, as well as assisting them with treatment as necessary; and
  • Create a community of knowledge about adolescents’ treatment and health needs to minimise the risks associated with loss to follow-up when a caregiver is unable to take care of an adolescent. 

Click here to download the brief.

Promising Practices in Health Provider Sensitisation for Adolescents and Young People Living with HIV

While the importance of sensitising health providers to the needs of adolescents has increasingly been acknowledged, there remains a gap in documented interventions and models of practice as to how this can be actioned. This promising practice brief was developed in acknowledgement of the urgent need for operational evidence on health provider sensitisation.

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Promising Practices in Clinic-Community Collaboration

February 2017, Luanne Hatane from Paediatric Aids Treatment for Africa (PATA) presented Promising Practices from PATA's Clinic-Community Collaboration Project at the Regional Learning and Linking Forum for Accelerating Delivery of Comprehensive Services for Orphans and Vulnerable Children & Youth, 9th – 10th February 2017 Johannesburg, South Africa.

PATA is network of health providers and associated health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa. The PATA Clinic-Community Collaboration Project is being implemented in 8 East and Southern African countries, namely Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon, Zambia, DRC, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. Three projects are being implemented in 36 clinics, with four partnerships per country across the nine participating countries. The objectives of the three-year project are to:

  • Improve PMTCT and paediatric HIV service delivery through establishing clinic and community health partnerships.
  • Identify and disseminate challenges, lessons learned and best practices for clinic -community linkages.

Click here to download the presentation. 

Click here to download the full policy brief: Clinic - CBO Collaboration (C3) Programme

Latest Developments in ECD Research and Programme Experiences

February 2017 Dr Marc Aguirre from HOPE worldwide presented the Latest Developments on ECD Research and Programme Experiences at the Regional Learning and Linking Forum for Accelerating Delivery of Comprehensive Services for Orphans and Vulnerable Children & Youth, 9th – 10th February 2017 Johannesburg, South Africa

The presentation describe how access to good-quality care and education programmes outside the home are important in providing children with the basic cognitive, language and social skills they need to flourish in school and later life. The impact not only affects the current generation but also risks trapping families and children in poverty for generations. The presentation highlighted sub-Saharan Africa as disproportionately affected due to poverty, stunting and only 25% of eligible children attending preschool.

Click here to download the full presentation

Click here to download the Lancet series on Advancing Early Childhood Development: From Science to Scale

Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program (AGEP): Mid-Term Findings

The Population Council is implementing and evaluating a program for vulnerable adolescent girls in Zambia to help them avoid early marriage; sexually transmitted infections, including HIV; and unintended pregnancy.

The Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program (AGEP) is a four-year effort to support more than 11,000 of the most vulnerable adolescent girls in Zambia. The program was designed to find the best way to improve girls’ social, health, and economic resources so that they can stay in school longer; avoid early marriage; delay sexual activity; and prevent unintended pregnancy, HIV, and other STIs.

This mid-term analyses looks at a range of short and long-term indicators and provides insights for future program design for adolescent girls in Zambia.

Click here to download the report and policy brief

For more information go to: http://www.popcouncil.org/research/adolescent-girls-empowerment-program 

Does Keeping Adolescent Girls in School Protect against Sexual Violence? Quasi-Experimental Evidence from East and Southern Africa

Sexual violence against women and girls is widespread globally. In their lifetime, one in three women will experience intimate partner physical or sexual violence and 7 per cent will experience forced sex by someone other than an intimate partner. 

This study finds protective effects of educational attainment against lifetime experience of sexual violence among women in Uganda, but not in Malawi. In the pathway analyses this research also found large impact on delaying marriage in both countries. These results suggest that policies aimed at increasing educational attainment among girls may have broad-ranging long-term benefits.

Click here to download the full report. 

Source: UNICEF Office of Research- Innocenti