Increasing adoption of and adherence to effective HIV prevention among high-risk adolescent girls and young women
Qualitative Research Findings – August 2018
A brief update on the work being done by the Breaking the Cycle study to better understand and reach young people in South Africa with HIV testing, prevention and treatment. The presentation that you can download below, provides further insights on the following topics:
Prevention from an AGYW Perspective
- AGYW view HIV prevention in the context of broader sexual health and relationship management goals, not as a separate journey or priority.
- Messages associated with test and treat frame prevention as reactive.
- Effective HIV treatment could reduce perceived importance of HIV prevention.
- Preferences for prevention methods are not static.
Risk, Reward and Self-Control
- AGYW process risk and rewards as feelings, not cognitive assessments.
- Risk comes in transitory blips. Rewards of high-risk behaviour are ongoing.
- A negative HIV test result can reinforce high-risk behaviour by sending the message that the current approach is working.
- Prevention messaging needs to maintain a risk-reward balance.
- Early and continuous engagement is required to strengthen self-control among AGYW, including the ability to cope with downsides of different methods.
- Negative views of AGYW and lack of empathy inhibit the effectiveness of positively-intentioned influencers.
- The desire among AGYW for a feeling of safety can be leveraged by protectors to help AGYW forward or hold them back from healthy sexual practices.
- A social support network to enable prevention practices is critical but often missing.