Integrating violence screening and support for young women accessing PrEP in South Africa and Tanzania – experiences from the EMPOWER study

Although we know that partner violence may undermine oral PrEP use, evidence is scarce on how to support PrEP use while decreasing vulnerability to violence among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW).

The EMPOWER study investigated combination prevention packages (including PrEP) for adolescent women in Tanzania and South Africa, particularly for women at risk of gender based violence (GBV). The study involved almost 500 adolescent girls and young women across both countries. One element of the study was an open-label PrEP demonstration project for AGYW (16-24 years), which incorporated questions about participants exposure to gender-based violence during HIV counselling and testing.

This Learning Lab presents:

  • results on the feasibility and acceptability of integrating GBV screening and support for adolescent girls accessing oral PrEP
  • stakeholders’ perceptions about GBV screening and its perceived risks and benefits
  • analysis of the challenges and enablers around the integration of violence identification with HIV prevention services

Manuela Colombini is an Assistant Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her research has primarily focused on conducting formative and evaluation research to explore new intervention approaches to responses to violence against women in the health sector; and translating evidence from promising interventions within different LMIC settings (Africa and Asia).

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