Interview with Catherine Sozi at AIDS 2018

Catherine Sozi, (Director UNAIDS Regional Support Team, Eastern & Southern Africa) presented the opening address at the STRIVE pre-conference session at AIDS 2018 on 21 July 2018.

Gender norms and poverty versus educational and individual resilience: What is the contribution of Samata?

This Learning Lab presents the qualitative study findings from the Samatacluster randomised-control trial in rural south India. Samata’s aim was to reduce secondary school drop-out and child marriage among marginalised adolescent girls.

Highlights from the STRIVE pre-conference meeting at AIDS 2018

Policy makers, implementers, civil society members, advocates and researchers assembled in Amsterdam on 21 July 2018, to participate in the STRIVE pre-conference session at AIDS2018.

Policy makers, implementers, civil society members, advocates and researchers assembled in Amsterdam on 21 July 2018, to participate in the STRIVE pre-conference session at AIDS2018.

Structural factors and the HIV treatment and prevention cascade

There is an unmet need for HIV prevention, both through primary prevention and treatment-as-prevention, particularly in key populations. HIV prevention has been dominated by behaviour change, but structural factors have acted as a barrier. Recent advances in knowledge about biomedical prevention offer real promise for reducing HIV incidence at a population-level – if sufficient coverage achieved.

STRIVE for the SDGs

In 2011, STRIVE was established to develop an alternative perspective on fighting the HIV epidemic; replacing short-term thinking and vertical programming on HIV with system thinking on how to address upstream risk factors that HIV shares with multiple development outcomes.

It is STRIVE's firm belief that we will not be able to realise the promise of the SDGs without applying the type of inter-sectoral, upstream thinking that we been applying to HIV as part of STRIVE.

Transactional sex and HIV risk: from analysis to action

Engagement in transactional sex is significantly associated with increased HIV prevalence in women. In a review of this association, across eligible studies, women who had ever practiced transactional sex were on average 50% more likely to be living with HIV than women who had never practiced transactional sex.

Impact case study: Prioritising combination HIV prevention for adolescent girls and young women in South Africa

Adolescent girls and young women in southern Africa and particularly South Africa currently constitute the population most vulnerable to HIV infection. Many social factors contribute to this risk, among them widespread gender inequalities and the high prevalence of intimate partner and other forms of violence. Oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) offers an effective new HIV prevention tool that women could potentially control.

Technical brief: A moment of convergence: STRIVE and the Sustainable Development Goals

In 2011, STRIVE was established to develop an alternative perspective on fighting the HIV epidemic. This mandate has compelled us to think differently about how to achieve greater impact and cost efficiencies. 

STRIVE's research has focused on how to address upstream risk factors that HIV shares with multiple development outcomes. We have focused on factors such as:

Technical brief: Biomedical and structural prevention: STRIVE in the era of 'cascades'

Despite advances, an unmet need remains for HIV prevention, both through primary prevention through treatment for HIV negative individuals and secondary prevention through treatment for HIV positive individuals. This need is urgent in key populations such as sex workers, men who have sex with me, prisoners and people who use drugs, transgender people and adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa.

A number of direct biomedical mechanisms have proven efficacy in preventing transmission at the biological level:

Evidence brief: Samata intervention to increase secondary school completion and reduce child marriage among adolescent girls from marginalised communities

The Samata trial assessed the impact of a multi-level structural and norms-based intervention developed by the Indian not-for-profit organisation, Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT). The trial was designed to reduce secondary school dropout and child marriage among marginalised scheduled caste/scheduled tribe (SC/ST) adolescent girls living in rural settings in South India. 

A number of structural and norms-based factors function as drivers of under-age marriage, early sexual debut and school dropout.

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