HIV prevention for young South African women: Lessons from Swa-Koteka - Audrey Pettifor

A randomised controlled trial by the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) in rural South Africa found that giving cash transfers to school-going young women conditional on school attendance did not reduce their risk of contracting HIV. However, young women who stayed in school and attended school more of the time across both arms of the study had a reduced risk of acquiring HIV. Furthermore, young women who received cash transfers reported less risk behaviours than those who did not. Findings from the HPTN 068 study (or Swa-Koteka) – conducted by the Medical Research Council (MRC) /Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Unit, Wits RHI and the University of North Carolina, USA – hold many important lessons for the field in terms of HIV prevention for young women.

Audrey Pettifor, Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, chaired the Swa-Koteka trial. Her research focuses on determinants of HIV/STI infection in sub-Saharan Africa with the goal of identifying modifiable risk factors and developing novel interventions to prevent new HIV infections, particularly in young women. Dr Pettifor has conducted HIV research in South Africa for over 15 years and also has worked in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar. She has a particular interest in structural interventions including the role of incentives for HIV prevention, community mobilization to change negative gender norms and interventions to promote linkages to care.

Sinéad Delany-Moretlwe, Director of Research at STRIVE partner organization Wits RHI, based in Johannesburg, hosted the webinar. Among other investigations into HIV prevention with and for young women, Dr Delany-Moretlwe was involved in the Swa-Koteka RCT.

Download the pdf of the presentation here

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