STAR-EC Technical Brief: Encouraging HIV Prevention and Positive Living Among Youth in East Central Uganda
Uganda’s East Central region has a population of 3.3 million people and roughly 32 percent of them are between the ages of 10 and 24. Adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) have unique sexual, reproductive health, and psychosocial issues. Health and community support systems find it challenging to adequately address the needs of ALHIV to enable them to realize their full potential in life. Some of the challenges faced by adolescents include inadequate access to health information, stigmatization against those who are HIV positive, fear, denial, isolation, poor adherence to treatment, low levels of HIV status disclosure, low self-esteem, uncertainty about their health and future life, and choices of sexual partners. One of the big challenges is a lack of services specifically targeting ALHIV, both those born with HIV and those who acquire it during adolescence.
STAR-EC used several approaches to increase access to and utilization of comprehensive HIV care and treatment services among ALHIV in East Central Uganda, integrating the revised National Antiretroviral Treatment Guidelines2, which prioritize initiating HIV-positive early adolescents (10-15 years) on ART. STAR-EC/JSI, 2016
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