Nugroho, A., Erasmus, V., Zomer, T.P., Wu, Q., and Richardus, J.H. AIDS Care (June 2016), 29(1): 98–104. doi:10.1080/09540121.2016.1200713.
The purpose of this report is to inform U.S. policymakers, donors, and advocates about the DREAMS Initiative (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe). The report also identifies some of the challenges and opportunities for successful HIV prevention for adolescent girls and young women, who are disproportionately affected by HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. The DREAMS initiative aims to reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African countries. In July 2016, CHANGE staff traveled to Kenya and South Africa, two countries that according to the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, were the farthest along in implementation, according to the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. CHANGE staff conducted interviews with adolescent girls and young women, prime partners, civil society, and U.S. Government officials to understand the experiences of DREAMS program participants, implementers, and funders. This report describes the implementation of DREAMS and assessed its attention to sexual and reproductive health and rights, strengths, and challenges in Kenya and South Africa. In addition to highlighting findings from the field, the report identifies U.S. policy restrictions that pose significant barriers to the DREAMS targets for HIV reduction among adolescent girls and young women. It offered several recommendations for improving outcomes, including improving engagement with community-based and grass-roots organizations.