Scaling uptake of accurate COVID info among young people living with HIV

Scaling uptake of accurate COVID info among young people living with HIV

Our partner AYARHEP played an important role in complementing the Kenian government’s efforts in addressing misinformation on COVID-19. The organisation targeted vulnerable adolescents and young people who would otherwise be left without accurate COVID-19 information on COVID-19, with all consequences this can have.

Among others comics were developed, transferring COVID-19 info in a convenient way.

Addressing the needs of young people living with HIV

AYARHEP conducted:

  • online training for peer educators addressing accurate information on COVID-19 and how to best support young people living with HIV during the pandemic 
  • an intergenerational dialogue between the County Health Team and young people, addressing concerns raised by young people on mental health and on HIV treatment access during the pandemic
  • follow up online training for peer educators on mental health and HIV treatment access for young people
  • a dialogue meeting between police officers and young people living with HIV focussing on challenges sex workers, adolescents, women and young people living with HIV face during the pandemic and steps needed to be taken in order to resolve the issues raised, such as support to reduce gender based violence during the pandemic.
  • a meeting with health workers and young people living with HIV at a health facility to address provision of youth friendly services and referral processes during the pandemic.  
Comic about COVID info

Improved self-care among young people

The sessions reached directly 60 peer educators, 20 police officers, and 4 health care providers regarding COVID-19 and risk reduction for young people living with HIV. With the activities carried out through the Response Fund, AYARHEP managed to reach 3424 young people directly and 6862 indirectly. In particular trained peer educators reported improved self-care among adolescents and young people they have reached during this period of the pandemic. 

There is a commitment by the County Health Team to prioritize implementation of youth friendly services during this pandemic even as the government has shifted resources and focus on COVID-19.

Comic about COVID info

Most people don't believe in our government, they need to know that this disease is here with us so they just take precautions to be on the safe side

- Cynthia, participant online training

Expected long term implications

In the communities, COVID-19 is taken as a security issue rather than a health issue. So there is a need for dissemination of accurate information on COVID-19. Comics created during this project to raise awareness about COVID-19 among young people turned out to be very successful. They will be used beyond the project period. 

COVID-19 precautions to reduce spread and infections are universal, however at community level there is need to use local dialect in disseminating information without distorting the meaning.

Mental health and sexual reproductive health and rights information will continue to be shared on AYARHEP’s social media pages. Twitter chats and Facebook Live are powerful tools for communication and can reach many adolescents and young people with accurate COVID information.

Last but not least the established partnership with police will be further strengthened to be able to address gender based violence, the plight of sexworkers and to ensure justice for adolescents and young people living with HIV.

Comic about COVID information

More on COVID-19 and HIV

The COVID-19 pandemic is strongly affecting the HIV response. Local and regional partners face increased difficulties to reach their communities in need. Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Visit our COVID-19 page to learn how the AIDS response is affected and working in the current circumstances.

AYARHEP

Ambassador for Youth and Adolescent Reproductive Health Program (AYARHEP) is a non-governmental organisation working to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights needs of adolescents and young people living with HIV. The organisation works with and for adolescent and young people living with HIV, and also empowers young girls with SRHR information and education. AYARHEP is an appreciated partner of Aidsfonds in both Get Up Speak Out and PITCH programmes.

Logo AYARHEP

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