Identifying HIV Prevention Gaps in Zimbabwe
MEASURE Evaluation is releasing a report on a study which examines why girls under 18 and young women 18-24 are at high risk of getting HIV. The study, conducted in Zimbabwe, seeks to determine where girls and young women meet new sexual partners. Particular attention was paid to orphan girls because of prior research indicating orphans might be at higher risk of acquiring HIV than non-orphans
For this study the PLACE method was revised to emphasize orphans--but also examine non-orphans--under 18, and young women 18-24. A household survey also was conducted to capture girls 12-17 who might not socialize at public places. Fieldwork was executed in October-November 2006 in Hwange District. MEASURE Evaluation, the Biomedical Research and Training Institute and UNICEF Zimbabwe collaborated in the study.
Data from the study indicate the need to target interventions both by age and type of venues. The data also point out gaps in prevention efforts that can be filled by working with venue representatives. Specific program recommendations include emphasizing the importance of encouraging under-18s to delay first sex and encouraging behavior change for young women 18-24. Because adolescents and young women are meeting partners in a variety of places, it will take a multifaceted approach to combat the HIV epidemic in Hwange District.
Read PLACE in Zimbabwe: Identifying Gaps in HIV Prevention among Orphans and Young People in Hwange District, 2006 here.