Understanding young South African women's increased risk of HIV 
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Project Focus
Women's risk

Project Location
Esselen Street clinic, Johannesburg

Duration of Project
6 months from end 2006

Project Partners
University of North Carolina

Project Donors
NIH (through UNC CFAR programme)

Dr Catherine MacPhail, Senior Researcher

Project Aim/ Objective

The risks of HIV infection is among the highest for young South African women. This study seeks to better understand young women's sexual relationships and their risk of HIV infection with specific regard to the balance of gender power in relationships. Additionally, the study aims to examine the features of HIV prevention interventions most desired by young women.

Project Activities
  • To conduct in-depth interviews with young South African women to explore
    • The motivations for young women's sexual relationships
    • Their experience with discussions of HIV prevention
    • Barriers and facilitators of safe sex behaviours within the context of sexual relationships
    • Gender power in adolescent relationships to better understand the context in which young women are attempting HIV prevention behaviours
    • The types of intervention programmes that young South African women suggest would be most useful for them (programme content as well as format)
Anticipated/Actual Results
Formative information on the role of gender power in adolescent relationships and preferred intervention activities/formats

Additional Outputs
Research publications

Future Plans
The formative information generated by this study will be used to inform the development of a HIV prevention intervention specifically designed to meet the needs of young South African women.

 Projects in the HIV Management Cluster:

  Counselling Improvement Programme
  Inner City Clinical Support Team
  Maternal Health & HIV Project (MHHIV)
  HIV Management Cluster Research Projects
  HIV Training
  Essellen Street Clinic Best Practice Project
  Mobile Clinic Support Team (MCST)
  Primary Health Care Project
  Women At Risk
  Young SA women's increased risk of HIV