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HIV prevention among at-risk adolescents: Participatory assessment, program design and implementation in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Selina Amin, MBBS MPH, Plan Bangladesh, House # CWN(B) 14, Road #35, Gulshan-2, Dhanmondi R/A, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh, 880-2-9120289, luis.tam@planusa.org, Iqbal Jillul Majid, Radda MCH-FP Centre, c/o Plan Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Shehlina Ahmed, MBBS MPH, Plan Asia Regional Office, 2nd Floor, Na-Nakorn Building, 99/349 Chaengwatttana Road, Thunsonghong, Laksi, Bangkok 10201, Thailand, and Luis Tam, MD DrPH, Plan USA, 1730 N Lynn St Suite 600, Arlington, VA 22209.

BACKGROUND: Plan Bangladesh, an international, humanitarian NGO applies a participatory process called Child Centered Community Development (CCCD) for designing and implementing its development programs. In this country, adolescents are at high risk of being infected with HIV due to their participation in informal sex trade. GOAL: CCCD was applied in periurban slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh to trace the female adolescents participating in informal sex trade and to design and implement prevention programs. METHODS: Plan and local partners worked with 200 adolescents through small discussion groups, role plays, key informant interviews and rapid surveys. Results were discussed with the participants for their validation and as inputs for the design of the program interventions and strategies. RESULTS: The study revealed that a good number of females aged 9 to 17 years acted as informal sex workers. They were not aware of their vulnerability towards HIV-AIDS and did not have any idea about their rights. Moreover, female adolescents who were domestic workers suffered from physical and sexual abuse and that increasingly numbers of adolescent boys were getting to drug addiction. CONSEQUENCES: With the technical and financial support of Plan Bangladesh and partners, adolescent groups prepared action plans which included dialogue, meetings, discussion with parents and follow up. They outlined of priority interventions and promoted preventive behaviour against HIV-AIDS among their peers. Preliminary results of these action plans are: (a)Immunization coverage increased among adolescent girls, (b) Increased number of adolescents are going to school, (c)Adults are giving importance to adolescents and are becoming more open minded than before, e.g. by allowing their daughters to form peer support groups. The author will focus on the methods and results of this initiative during her presentation.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

Topics in HIV/AIDS II

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA