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Empower

Enhancing Methods of Prevention and Options for Women Exposed to Risk

EMPOWER is a study investigating combination prevention packages (including PrEP) for adolescent women in Tanzania and South Africa, particularly for women at risk of gender based violence (GBV).

The study involved almost 500 adolescent girls and young women across both countries. It aims to identify young women attending HIV prevention services who experience GBV, to offer counselling and link them to care. The study also offers support to young women to incorporate and sustain PrEP use within their sexual partnerships.

Half the participants are randomised to participate in four monthly EMPOWER clubs that offer skills building for communication and conflict resolution.

The study is led by the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (WRHI) of South Africa, in partnership with the Mwanza Intervention Trials Unit (MITU), the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW).

Early findings

Presented at AIDS Impact 2017:

  • The feasibility and acceptability of gender-based violence screening in HIV counselling and testing services and linkage to care for adolescent girls and young women in South Africa. Abstract. Read…
  • EMPOWER clubs for young women using oral PrEP as part of an HIV prevention package. What we have learned so far. Abstract. Read…
  • Motivations for initiating PrEP: a qualitative study among adolescents and young women in Johannesburg, South Africa. Abstract. Read…
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