Breaking down barriers: empowering young people living with HIV in Uganda

Breaking down barriers: empowering young people living with HIV in Uganda

"Link Up’s experience in Uganda demonstrates the success empowered young people living with HIV can have in achieving greater access to SRHR and HIV services for their peers. Building a strong team of peer educators who were visible and proud of their work proved the foundation for service provision in the project.”

This is a key outcome outlined in this 16-page case study discussing the experience of the Link Up Project in Uganda, which was designed to increase access to integrated and quality sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV information, as well as commodities and services, for young people living with and most affected by HIV. Between October 2013 and March 2015 the Link Up Project used peer educators, along with improving youth-friendly health services, to address barriers facing young people in accessing reproductive health services, such as lack of knowledge, skills, and youth-friendly services.

The case study first explains the context of the programme and then goes on to describe the main component of the programme - the use of peer educators.

According to the case study, through the project young people who are normally hard-to-reach were brought closer to SRHR and HIV services, and many were referred for antiretroviral therapy enrolment. Between 2013 and 2015 the project:

  • "Reached 5980 young people living with HIV with SRHR information, counselling and services in their own communities
  • Reached 3794 young people living with HIV with SRHR information, counselling and services in health facilities and through clinical outreach
  • Made 224 completed referrals of young people living with HIV to health facilities"