Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) Summit
The South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) in partnership with government, researchers and youth activists, will host a national summit on HIV prevention for young women and adolescent girls on Tuesday, 24 and 25 April 2018 in Benoni, Gauteng.
Almost 2000 new HIV infections occur among young women and adolescent girls (aged 15–24) in South Africa each week, a rate two and a half times that among males of the same age.
The summit will respond to the unacceptably high rate of new HIV infections among young women and adolescent girls in the country and will examine which programmes have worked and which should be scaled up and how things can be done differently.
Researchers from the Medical Research Council and the Human Sciences Research Council will also present the latest research findings and implementation science on adolescent girls and young women. Prevention tools such PrEP and ‘cash plus care’ will also feature prominently at Summit.
As part of the summit, youth activists including Naledi Chirwa will engage with the Department of Women in a dialogue moderated by Kgomotso Matsunyane.
Some segments of the summit will be streamed live on our social pages (Twitter: @SA_AIDSCouncil and Facebook: The South African National AIDS Council), please monitor these platforms and follow the conversation using the hash tags #AGYWSummit and #ShoBafethu.
According to the National Strategic Plan for HIV, TB and STIs (2017-2022) Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) are a vulnerable population to new HIV infections and STIs. A combination of programmes targeted at AGYW were implemented over the last five years in response to the vulnerability identified. The ‘She Conquers’ campaign launched in June 2016 is an overarching multi-sectoral campaign that serves as a coordinating framework for government, civil society, private sector and development partners implementing adolescent girls and young womens programmes. Joint planning and sharing of lessons across programmes and stakeholders is pivotal in order to maximise the impact of AGYW interventions across the country.
The Summit will share lessons learnt and programme priorities for scale up by the South African Government. In addition, the Summit is also an opportune moment for reflection and knowledge sharing, so that going forward, all programmes for AGYW can benefit from joint learnings. As such, the Summit will focus on implementation in the context of sexual and reproductive health and rights as well as taking cognisance of the social and structural drivers which place young women at risk for HIV infection, unplanned teenage pregnancy, sexual and gender based violence and economic vulnerability. This Summit is not intended as a platform solely for youth but rather a platform to strengthen HIV prevention for AGYW through engagement with youth, policy makers and implementers.