The Impact of Social-to-Health Strategy in HIV/AIDS Prevention Service Amongst the Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) in Oyo State South-West Nigeria

Authors: Ogundele R.O1, Ademodi Y1, Sogunro E1, Adewoye S1, Adepoju

Institute(s): Royal Heritage Health Foundation1, Society for Family Health2

Poster Presentation: 20th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Rwanda (ICASA 2019) Kigali 2 – 7 December 2019.

Issues: The Adolescent and Young People represent a growing share of people living with HIV worldwide. In 2016 alone, 610,000 young people between the ages of 15 to 24 were newly infected with HIV, of whom 260,000 were adolescents between the ages of 15 to 19. If current trends continue, hundreds of thousands more will become HIV positive in the coming years. Additionally, AIDS-related deaths among adolescents have increased over the past decade while decreasing among all other age groups.  (UNICEF, 2018)

Programme Description: Supported by the Global Fund, SFH partnered with SDAs/CBOs to reduce prevalence of HIV/AIDs, expand access to RH/HIV/STI prevention among Adolescents using Social to Health (S2H) Approach.  The social to health approach was employed during the intervention for the Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) in Oyo State from May 2018 to June 2019. The project was organized by the Society for Family Health (SFH) with the support from Global Fund and implemented by Royal Heritage Health Foundation across 16 LGAs of Oyo State. The intervention focused particularly on AGYW between ages 15-24years. They were profiled into 4 categories using: socio-demographics characteristics, sexual lifestyle and sexual patterns. The categories are: (1) Adolescent girls between ages 15-19years, (2) Young women 20-24years, (3) Girls at high risk based on occupation and lifestyle and Adolescent Girls and Young Women Living with HIV. The method helps in sharing of information and service uptake with other non-health related activity this helps in reducing stigma and increase their participation in HIV activities.

Lesson Learned: The Social to Health was an innovative method used to reach all categories of AGYW with behavioral and biomedical mix of the combination prevention. This approach targeted at AGYW who can be reached during the day. The method gives room for social interaction among AGYWs by starting a social activity of their choice which was led by a social instructor.  e.g. Beauty make-over, Beads making, Soap Making, Hair Dressing, and Barbing with all the cohorts in the same venue in the selected community. This paved way to reach the High/Higher risk Adolescent Girls and young Women (AGYW) who are vulnerable to HIV using different technical approaches that can best achieve a behavioral change, uptake of several biomedical services and linkage to services. At the end of the project, a total of 9,224 AGYW were reached with behavioral activities while 7,241 AGYW were reached with HIV testing services.164 were reactive and linked to care and treatment.

Recommendation: The S2H method serves as a strategy for the adolescent to be involved in the HIV programs and helps in providing livelihood skills for some of them in the community. This will also help in curbing the spread of HIV among the AGYW target group.

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