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Evaluating the impact of the DREAMS partnership to reduce HIV incidence among adolescent girls and young women in four settings: a study protocol

Birdthistle, Isolde, Schaffnit, Susan, Kwaro, Daniel, Shahmanesh, Maryam, Ziraba, Abdhalah, Kabiru, Caroline, Phillips-Howard, Penelope ORCID:, Chimbindi, Natsayi, Ondeng'e, Kenneth, Gourlay, Annabelle, Cowan, Frances ORCID:, Hargreaves, James, Hensen, Bernadette, Chiyaka, Tarisai, Glynn, Judith and Floyd, Sian (2018) 'Evaluating the impact of the DREAMS partnership to reduce HIV incidence among adolescent girls and young women in four settings: a study protocol'. BMC Public Health, Vol 18, Issue 912.

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Background: HIV risk remains unacceptably high among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in southern
and eastern Africa, reflecting structural and social inequities that drive new infections. In 2015, PEPFAR (the United
States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) with private-sector partners launched the DREAMS Partnership, an
ambitious package of interventions in 10 sub-Saharan African countries. DREAMS aims to reduce HIV incidence by
40% among AGYW over two years by addressing multiple causes of AGYW vulnerability. This protocol outlines an
impact evaluation of DREAMS in four settings.
Methods: To achieve an impact evaluation that is credible and timely, we describe a mix of methods that build on
longitudinal data available in existing surveillance sites prior to DREAMS roll-out. In three long-running surveillance
sites (in rural and urban Kenya and rural South Africa), the evaluation will measure: (1) population-level changes
over time in HIV incidence and socio-economic, behavioural and health outcomes among AGYW and young men
(before, during, after DREAMS); and (2) causal pathways linking uptake of DREAMS interventions to ‘mediators’ of
change such as empowerment, through to behavioural and health outcomes, using nested cohort studies with
samples of ~ 1000–1500 AGYW selected randomly from the general population and followed for two years. In
Zimbabwe, where DREAMS includes an offer of pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis (PrEP), cohorts of young women who
sell sex will be followed for two years to measure the impact of ‘DREAMS+PrEP’ on HIV incidence among young
women at highest risk of HIV. In all four settings, process evaluation and qualitative studies will monitor the delivery
and context of DREAMS implementation. The primary evaluation outcome is HIV incidence, and secondary
outcomes include indicators of sexual behavior change, and social and biological protection.
Discussion: DREAMS is, to date, the most ambitious effort to scale-up combinations or ‘packages’ of multi-sectoral
interventions for HIV prevention. Evidence of its effectiveness in reducing HIV incidence among AGYW, and
demonstrating which aspects of the lives of AGYW were changed, will offer valuable lessons for replication.
Keywords: HIV prevention, Adolescent health, Complex intervention, Impact evaluation, Gender equity, Kenya,
South Africa, Zimbabwe

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QS Anatomy > QS 4 General works. Classify here works on regional anatomy
WA Public Health > Preventive Medicine > WA 108 Preventive health services. Preventive medicine. Travel Medicine.
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 309 Women's health
WC Communicable Diseases > Virus Diseases > Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV Infections > WC 503 Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. HIV infections
WS Pediatrics > By Age Groups > WS 460 Adolescence (General)
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Stacy Murtagh
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2018 15:30
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2019 14:16


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