Linking Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and HIV Services for Young People: The Link Up Project

March 2017 - Combination Prevention

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Stackpool-Moore, L., Bajpai, D., Caswell, G., et al. Journal of Adolescent Health (February 2017), 60(2S2):S3-S6. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.11.008.

This commentary provided an overview of Link Up, a three-year project (2013–2016) to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of over 800,000 10–24-year-olds affected by HIV in Bangladesh, Burundi, Ethiopia, Myanmar, and Uganda. The project aimed to enable and scale up access to integrated HIV services and SRHR for marginalized young people, including young men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who use drugs, trans people, homeless people, and other youth. Link Up demonstrated the need to tailor project implementation to address sensitive issues within diverse country contexts. The project focused on interventions led by young people. Over 10,000 peer educators and youth leaders were trained to provide HIV and SRHR information, education, counseling, and communication materials (including hotlines and social media) within their communities. They created demand for integrated HIV and SRHR services and distributed vouchers to facilitate referrals to public or private services. The project supported the integration of HIV and SRHR programming and facilitated service outreach through support groups, youth clubs, and other activities. Link Up also provided training to over 3,300 public and private providers and community workers on topics including stigma reduction and service integration. More information on the research and programmatic activities of Link Up is included throughout this issue of the AIDSFree Prevention Update.

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