Empowering Girls and Young Women at High Risk of HIV Infection: A Capacity Strengthening Project

The Council helped DREAMS partners develop programs that give adolescent girls and young women the social and protective assets they need to thrive and stay safe from HIV. 

The Issue

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), ViiV Healthcare, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Girl Effect, Johnson & Johnson, and Gilead Sciences launched the Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe (DREAMS) Partnership, a global commitment to address the various factors that increase girls’ risk for HIV infection and help keep them safe from HIV. 

This commitment has ambitious targets to significantly reduce HIV incidence among adolescent girls and young women in some of the highest-burden areas in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean in a short amount of time. To achieve these targets, new approaches that address the political, social and cultural norms and practices that increase girls’ HIV risk are urgently needed.  

The Progress

Council researchers are sharing best practices and resources, providing mentorship, technical support and hands-on workshops to strengthen the capacity of partners involved in DREAMS to develop and implement new approaches to reach girls and young women at highest risk of HIV infection, link them with essential resources and empower them with the social and protective assets they need for a safe and healthy entry into adulthood.  

The Council is providing partners with user-friendly tools to assist in this process. These tools can be found on our Tools and Resources for Girl-Centered Programming page.

The Impact

The Council’s approach to adolescent girls programming has been proven to build girls' social and protective assets. The hope is that supporting partners to develop new approaches to programming will enable the Council to advance progress toward achieving the ambitious DREAMS targets of reducing HIV incidence among adolescent girls and young women in high-burden areas. 

Principal Investigator

Key Staff (3)

  • Judith Bruce Senior Associate and Policy Analyst, New York
  • Kelly Hallman Senior Associate, New York
  • Sophie Soares Staff Associate and Project Manager, Adolescent Girls Community of Practice, New York

Fact Sheets (1)

News & Views (1)

Curricula, Toolkits, and Guides (2)