Reaching for our DREAMS

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ATHENA is honored to join fellow awardees at the DREAMS Innovation Challenge Fund launch meeting in Nairobi, Kenya this week to galvanize momentum and support for new ways of engaging and championing adolescent girls and young women as leaders in the HIV response. Our partner Hajjarah Nagadya of the International Community of Women Living with HIV Eastern Africa (ICWEA) discusses the launch of ATHENA's Young Women Lead, Evidence, Advocate, Research, Network (LEARN): What does PrEP mean for young women?

Young Women LEARN utilizes participatory action research combined with mentorship and leadership of young women most impacted by HIV to inform the rollout of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) by, for and with young women. In partnership with ICWEA in Uganda and PIPE in Kenya, we are delighted to train and support a cadre of adolescent girls and young women to:

  • define their priorities, set agendas and lead research
  • gather meaningful data in a safe, learning environment
  • contribute to the formal evidence base around HIV prevention science
  • advocate for prevention programming reflecting adolescent girls and young women’s lived realities, values and preferences

DREAMS is an ambitious partnership among PEPFAR, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Girl Effect to reduce HIV acquisition among adolescent girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African countries and help girls develop into Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, Safe women. To learn more about the Young Women LEARN pilot, stay tuned to ATHENA's website for updates and please reach out to Jacqui Stevenson, ATHENA Lead: Research and Analysis, stevenson.jacqui@gmail.com.