Case Study Presented at the Fast-Track Cities Intl Conference in Sevilla.
We are pleased to share that our Fast-Track Cities project titled “Keeping the dream alive” in partnership with UNAIDS and Blantyre City Council with funding from IAPAC was chosen as the best practice for UNAIDS Malawi under Cities Fast Track. Our activities and their impact were shared by the UNAIDS Country office with the global UNAIDS.
Our project which run from October 2021 to March 2022 and is expected to resume in October 2022 focused on increasing the demand for HIV testing amongst sexually active adolescents and young people in Universities before they indulge in sex and has yielded a lot of positive results. While using prominent social media influencers like Pemphero Mphande and musicians like Piksy and Jay Jay Cee, we reached out to over 300,000 young people online and over 5,000 young people in universities.
Abstract Accepted for Presentation
Our abstract on a case study titled: How Intergenerational Relationships Are Hampering HIV Prevention Efforts in Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Blantyre City was accepted to be presented at theInternational Fast-Track Cities conference in Sevilla, Spain. Our Programs Manager, Madalitso Juwayeyi was supposed to travel for a physical presence but due to delays in Visa processing, she presented virtually on October 12, 2022.
During the project, from the girls who tested HIV positive, our index testing following up revealed that most of these university girls were sexually involved with older men. These men in contemporary society have been nicknamed “Blessers”. This is what defines intergenerational relationships: sexual relationships between young girls aged 15-24 and older men aged 40-75 in exchange for money.
This came out as a risk factor that makes adolescent girls and young women in universities vulnerable to HIV, thereby hampering efforts to reduce new HIV infections among young people. It is important to note that these young women who sleep with blessers also sleep with their young boyfriends. This increases the risk of new HIV infections among young people in general. Already, in Malawi most new HIV infections are higher in young people aged 15-24 than in any other group.
Our appeal is for more research to be done on the impact of intergenerational relationships and therefore understand the social and behavioral drivers for this and how to counter it.
Visit the link to watch the presentation.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yp4hqkC8ZQ