Resilient & Empowered Adolescents & Young People (READY+)
READY+ is a 5 year project funded by the Netherlands Ministry of foreign affairs and implemented in consortium led by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance (the Alliance) with, PATA, Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI), M&C Saatchi World Services (Saatchi), the Global Network of Young People Living with HIV (Y+) and additional technical resource partners and in-country implementing partners.
READY+ seeks to ensure that Adolescents and young people living with HIV are resilient, empowered and knowledgeable and have the freedom to make healthier choices and access services and commodities related to their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
READY+ will reach 30,000 young people with HIV and SRHR education, and an additional 10,000 will be supported by peers. 8,000 young people will access quality, integrated HIV/SRHR and mental health services, leading to improved initiation and retention on ARV treatment. 400 young people will participate in local, national and global SRH/HIV advocacy activities to address structural barriers to adolescents accessing SRH services.
The aim of READY+ is for young people to become ready to make informed decisions about their health and rights; with parents and caregivers ready to support young people to talk about sexuality; and service providers ready to provide youth-friendly services; and decision-makers ready to champion access to information, services and commodities for adolescents and young people living with HIV.
READY will be implemented in 4 southern African countries Swaziland, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
An estimated 430,000 Adolescents and Young people (15 to 24years) in East and Southern Africa are acquiring HIV every year often as a result of denied rights to critical services due to age restrictions, the need for parental consent, lack of accurate information, use of alcohol and drugs, sexual debut, multiple partners, unsafe sexual practices, and poor access to relevant and responsive services.
Negative cultural attitudes to young people’s sexuality, gender norms and practices, violence, poverty, and the lack of participation of young people in decisions that affect their lives, all impact on their long-term health. Further still, as Adolescents and young people living with HIV (A&YPLHIV) explore their sexual identity and form relationships, they are faced with disclosure to partners; understanding options for effective contraception while on ART; safe sex, safer conception, absence of psychosocial support and mental wellbeing leading to loss to follow up, poor treatment adherence, poor SRH; and risks of MTCT, a key driver of the epidemic. Specific attention on this group of young people continues to be a worrying gap in the global HIV response; there have been limited responses in the region around improving SRHR for A&YPLHIV, and little attention to the significance of their health outcomes on the epidemic.
Resilient and empowered adolescents and young people living with HIV who are better informed and make healthier choices• Provide Information, education and communication tools and materials that provide A&YPLHIV with tailored and relevant guidance
• Create safe spaces for A&YPLHIV to meet, learn and build trust in the information they receive, as well as develop skills in managing emotions and navigating risks and vulnerability
• Peer Support to provide information, advice, and guidance
Safe and secure communities that promote the rights, health and wellbeing of adolescents and young people living with HIV and support their access to SRHR information, services and commodities• Community dialogues to better understand needs of HIV-positive adolescents
• Community fora to work with teachers, services providers, faith leaders and key stakeholders to address gaps and build improved support
• Parent /Caregiver dialogues and communication support
Increased access to, and use of, high quality HIV and SRHR services by young people living with HIV that are responsive to their specific needs• Training and sensitization of public and private service providers
• Operational quality improvement plans developed and implemented on the integration of HIV and SRH services
• Adolescents and young people living with HIV design, monitor and accredit services
Greater accountability of decision makers and policy makers to the SRHR needs of A&YPLHIV
• Communicating evidence of the needs, desires, risks and barriers of A&YPLHIV
• Generating evidence for advocacy
• Youth mentorship
• Advocacy strategies and accountability