Webinar: What about the Boys and Young Men? Missed opportunities in HIV prevention and treatment

October 19th, 2023 | Event


Across geographies, adolescent boys and young men are lagging behind HIV epidemic control targets. Health systems fail to meet their needs, and this has a negative impact on the health of both men and women. In this conversation, young men and the experts who support them in Ghana, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia shared their experiences and thoughts on what is needed to address this gap.

Based on this conversation, here are some of the commitments attendees were inspired to make:

  • “Push deliberate, intentional inclusion of ABYM in existing HIV program interventions I support.”
  • “Starting the discussion!! This is hardly ever talked about.”
  • “Look at my projects and promote addressing the needs of adolescent boys within our gender work plan.”
  • “Engage the young men and boys more often to create awareness about their needs and benefits of health services.”
  • “Contribute through my work, currently in the early stages of designing tools and SOPs for the new component of ABYM programming within our project. All great work towards improving the health outcomes.”


Moderator: Tijuana A. James, senior youth advisor, USAID OHA Youth Branch.


  • Oscar Otim, peer leader, Pediatric AIDS Treatment for Africa (PATA) and a national young people and adolescent peer support (YAPS) model trainer, Uganda.
  • Morton Mambwe, adolescent and young person PrEP mentor, USAID DISCOVER Health Project, Zambia.
  • Tatelo Rametsi, SKILLZ Guyz program master coach, Grassroot Soccer, South Africa.
  • Isaac Henry Aikins, adolescent boys and young men mentor and project officer, Maritime Life Precious Foundation under USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum Project, Ghana.
  • Malizani Phiri, male champion for Malawi AIDS Counseling and Resource Organisation under the USAID/PEPFAR Ana Patsogolo Activity led by World Education

Meet our Speakers:

Oscar Otim is passionate about raising the voices of young people and adolescents living with HIV. He supports the adolescent clinic at Lira Regional Referral Hospital, linking peers to adolescent-friendly HIV testing, counseling and psychosocial support, ART literacy, and follow up services.

Oscar Otim

For better HIV programming for adolescent boys and young men, give them the 411, lose the stigma, and teach boys to play safe and slay ignorance!”

Morton Mambwe loves soccer, listening to music, writing poems, and advocating for healthy living. He is dedicated to improving the lives of adolescent boys and young men, who he has been mobilizing in Mushili township by attending social gatherings where he can meet peers and link them to HIV services, such as PrEP and counseling.

Morton Mambwe

The most urgent need for HIV programming is creating safe spaces (such as those in the DREAMS program for adolescent girls and young women) and using those spaces to increase adolescent boys’ and young men’s access to and uptake of HIV and AIDS services.”

Tatelo Rametsi is a father and brother who is passionate about soccer and music. With more than 10 years of experience, his role with Grassroot Soccer focuses on HIV, violence prevention, mental health, and substance misuse among adolescent boys and young men, and he mentors up-and-coming coaches on how to work with them.

Tatelo Rametsi

I see young boys being misinformed on healthy relationships, which leads to mental health and economic challenges. There is an urgent need for HIV programming to ensure that they get accurate information and live healthier, productive lives, and be agents of change.”

Isaac Henry Aikins has almost 20 years of experience supporting people living with HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases to access equitable and high-quality health care to live a healthy and meaningful life. He implements community HIV interventions to reach the general and underserved populations with person-centered care.

Isaac Henry Aikins

I am passionate about youth empowerment. I advocate and promote equity and access to quality health care, especially for adolescent boys and young men and underserved populations.”

Malizani Phiri is a football coach, lead farmer, and community development chairperson. He is passionate about bringing positive change in the livelihood of his community, especially youth, and conducts dialogue sessions on gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health, and HIV prevention with adolescent boys and young men.

Malizani Phiri

By equipping adolescent boys and young men with accurate information about HIV transmission, prevention methods, and the importance of regular testing, they can make informed decisions about sexual behavior and reduce their vulnerability to HIV.”

Tijuana A. James

With over twenty-five years of experience, she is a proven expert in adolescent and young adult sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS prevention, having served youth, their families, and communities in the U.S., Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. She has done pivotal work on Private Sector Engagement at PEPFAR and USAID and is now advancing the provision of mental health and psychosocial support services for youth as well as other DREAMS-related work. In addition, Tijuana is lending her skills to important DEIA work within USAID, including an outreach initiative to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to expand opportunities and promote interest in careers in Global Health.

We are positioning adolescent boys and young men at the center not as perpetrators of violence or other social ills, but because they are our fathers, our brothers, and our sons, and they are in need of programs and services in their own right, and not only to the extent that it impacts outcomes for adolescent girls and young women.”

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