HIV Prevention Program Eligibility Among Adolescent Girls and Young Women — Namibia, 2019
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HIV Prevention Program Eligibility Among Adolescent Girls and Young Women — Namibia, 2019

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    • Alternative Title:
      MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
    • Description:
      The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) relies on comprehensive and reliable population data to implement interventions to reduce HIV transmission in high-incidence areas among populations disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic. Adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa account for a disproportionate number of new HIV infections compared with their male peers (1). The DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe) program includes multisectoral, layered interventions aimed at reducing factors that contribute to vulnerability to HIV infection among adolescent girls and young women in PEPFAR-supported sub-Saharan African countries (1). Namibia, a southern African country with a population of approximately 2.55 million among whom approximately 8% live with HIV infection, had their DREAMS program first implemented in 2017* (2,3). Data from the 2019 Namibia Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS), the most recent and comprehensive nationally representative data source available to study the epidemiology of violence and other HIV risk factors, were used to estimate the percentage of adolescent girls and young women aged 13-24 years who would be eligible for DREAMS program services. The prevalence of individual DREAMS eligibility criteria, which comprise known age-specific risk factors associated with HIV acquisition, were estimated by age group. Among all adolescent girls and young women in Namibia, 62% were eligible for DREAMS based on meeting at least one criterion. Common eligibility criteria included adverse childhood experiences, specifically exposure to physical, emotional, and sexual violence and being an orphan;| and high-risk behaviors, such as early alcohol use,| recent heavy alcohol use,| and infrequent condom use.** Using VACS data to estimate the prevalence of HIV risk factors and identify adolescent girls and young women at elevated risk for HIV acquisition in countries like Namibia with high HIV-incidence can inform programs and policies aimed at improving the well-being of these adolescent girls and young women and help control the HIV epidemics in these countries.
    • Source:
      MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 70(45):1570-1574
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