Peer Support for Adolescents and Young People Living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa: Emerging Insights and a Methodological Agenda
Despite clear need and disproportionate risk, adolescents, and young people living with HIV (AYPLHIV) are underserved within the HIV response. “Peer support” increasingly forms part of adolescent and youth-responsive service packages as a class of implementation strategies that can support adolescents to access, engage, and sustain treatment. This paper examines examples of peer support for AYPLHIV within sub-saharan Africa to explore the determinants of successful implementation, outcomes and scale-up, as well as policy and programmatic implications.
Although adolescent peer support has been observed to be widely implemented, there are few examples of detailed program descriptions describing operational logistics or outcomes around peer support interventions. Nevertheless the few examples available provide preliminary support for the potential utility of peer support to improve AYPLHIV outcomes.
Implementation science research is an urgent imperative to examine applicability of peer support for this priority population. In the meantime, programs should move forward with implementation based on promising outcomes, programmatic experience, contextual understanding of challenges and gaps, and best practice examples.
KeywordsHIV Adolescent Peer Adherence Retention Implementation science
This publication has been supported by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the funding agencies.
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