Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) aged 15–24 are an important key population that experiences a disproportionate level of new HIV infections. Although the disparity in HIV prevalence among young women and their male counterparts is not new, there is increasing recognition that it is fueling the epidemic and must be addressed in high HIV burden countries. In Ethiopia, data characterizing unmet HIV prevention needs and HIV risk vulnerabilities among AGYW, especially out-of-school AGYW, are lacking given the challenges in studying the needs of this population.
Project SOAR is conducting an integrated HIV bio-behavioral surveillance survey (IBBSS) among out-of-school AGYW to characterize HIV prevalence and to estimate vulnerability and risk factors for HIV in this population. Prior to conducting the IBBS, the study team is mapping potential recruitment locations and determining the best methods to recruit out-of-school AGYW in the local context.
This study will provide the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office, and USAID/Ethiopia with HIV prevalence estimates and vulnerability assessments for out-of-school AGYW. These results are intended to inform future HIV prevention and treatment programming for out-of-school AGYW in the country.