Adolescents (ages 10–19) and youth (ages 15–24) bear a disproportionate share of the HIV burden, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. However, little is known about what projects are doing to make their interventions adolescent- and youth-friendly and what interventions are effective for changing HIV-related outcomes for these age groups. Program managers and policymakers have little rigorous evidence on how best to invest resources to achieve 90-90-90 targets among adolescents and young people. Recognizing this evidence gap, MEASURE Evaluation—funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)—reviewed the evidence on adolescent- and youth-friendly HIV services as a contribution to the goal of an AIDS-free generation that the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is pursuing. This review had three objectives: (1) document knowledge of what is working and what is not working in terms of delivering adolescent- and youth-friendly HIV services, and why strategies and program activities work or do not work; (2) identify useful lessons learned about key elements of successful adolescent- and youth-friendly HIV services; and (3) promote the use and adaptation of best practices for adolescent- and youth-friendly HIV services in order to improve the quality of HIV services delivered to young people and to attract adolescents and youth to retain them in those services.
The 13 projects covered in the compendium are those we received permission to summarize. A review group graded the projects using well-established criteria. These criteria were adolescent and youth involvement, relevance, effectiveness/impact, reach, feasibility, sustainability, replicability or transferability, ethical soundness, and efficiency. Seven best practices, four promising practices, and two emerging practices were identified, of which five provided strong evidence needed to recommend priorities for action.
“Best Practices for Adolescent- and Youth-Friendly HIV Services: A Compendium of Selected Projects in PEPFAR-Supported Countries” reflects the results from a call for best-practices proposals and an examination of peer-reviewed and gray literature in 22 PEPFAR-supported countries. These guidelines are a companion to that document.