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.

Recent Findings

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.

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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).

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Correspondence to Daniella Mark.

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Mark, D., Hrapcak, S., Ameyan, W. et al. Peer Support for Adolescents and Young People Living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa: Emerging Insights and a Methodological Agenda. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep 16, 467–474 (2019).

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  • HIV
  • Adolescent
  • Peer
  • Adherence
  • Retention
  • Implementation science