The HIV and AIDS epidemic in Africa has had a devastating impact on communities across the continent. The epidemic continues to be a major global health issue. Since the start of the epidemic, an estimated 78 million people have become infected with HIV and 35 million people have died of AIDS-related illnesses. In 2016, 1 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses. The vast majority of people living with HIV – an estimated 25.5 million- are located in Sub-Sahara Africa.

Teenage girls in Dzaleka Refugee Camp and surrounding villages are three to five times more likely to be infected with the virus that causes AIDS than boys their age. According to reports, young people aged 14-24 counted for 41% of new HIV infection and over 60% of this percentage was adolescent girls. Adolescent girls become sexually active before the age of 15 years but they do not have adequate information on sexuality and lack skills to negotiate for safer sex to prevent HIV infection.

Communication for social change and promoting and encouraging girls to delay sex and early marriage are the two strategies SOFERES has adopted to prevent HIV transmission among adolescent girls. Adolescent girls are empowered with life skills and information through peer education trainings as well as girls’ network dialogue forums.