Evaluation of an Intervention to Address the Gendered Social, Economic, and Cultural Determinants of Youth HIV Risk Behaviors

Kelly Hallman, Population Council
Kasthuri Govender, Pinetown Highway Child and Family Welfare Society
Eva Roca, Population Council
Emmanuel Mbatha, Pinetown Highway Child and Family Welfare Society
Rob Pattman, University of Kwazulu-Natal
Deevia Bhana, University of Kwazulu-Natal
Jill Walsh, Brown University

South Africa is a complex environment socially, politically, economically, and culturally. Illness, stigma, and death from HIV and AIDS, high rates of disenfranchisement and unemployment, growing poverty coupled with extreme income inequality, and traditional tribal leadership structures make it a challenging place in which to transition from childhood to adulthood. Various programs and policies in South Africa nominally address young people, but many fail to acknowledge the internal diversity of “youth,” or to tackle core livelihood and social support issues that underlie susceptibility to HIV. This paper provides an evaluation of one program that aimed to reach young women and men with a comprehensive package of skills that were not only HIV-related but also designed to address gendered social, economic and cultural factors. Preliminary quantitative and qualitative analysis indicates that the program was successful in building knowledge, skills, and promoting healthy behaviors among young intervention participants.

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Presented in Session 139: Multiple Partnerships