Online Program

Title: Does School Support Reduce Risk of HIV? 3 year Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial among Orphan Adolescents in Kenya

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Hyunsan Cho, Ph.D., Chapel Hill Center, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), Chapel Hill, NC
Bonita Iritani, MA, MSS, Chapel Hill Center, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), Chapel Hill, NC
Isabella Mbai, MSc.Health, School of Nursing, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya
Carolyn T. Halpern, PhD, Department of Maternal and Child Health, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Background: Over the past decades, there has been growing interest in structural interventions providing school support or subsidies, such as cash transfers, to help reduce the risk for HIV.  Orphans are particularly vulnerable to HIV risk. This study is one of very few trials testing the impact of school support on orphans’ HIV-associated risk factors and HIV and Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 (HSV-2) infection over time.

Methods: A cluster randomized-controlled trial was conducted among orphan adolescents in western Kenya. Primary schools (N=26) were randomized to study condition. Intervention participants received financial support for school fees, uniforms and medical needs. Annual surveys were conducted in 2011 through 2014, and HIV and HSV-2 biomarkers were collected at baseline and endline. Data were analyzed using survey logistic regression or generalized estimating equations controlling for age and biological sex.


Results: 835 orphan adolescents participated in the study. HIV and HSV-2 prevalence was 1% and 3%, respectively, at baseline. Significant positive effects by study condition were observed over the 3 years in school dropout, school achievement, quality-adjusted life years (QALY), circumcision, depression, marriage, and other attitude variables such as educational aspirations and future expectations. Differences in HIV infection were not observed at endline.


Conclusions: Structural interventions providing school fees have positive impacts on important behaviors and attitudes related to HIV infection.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate a structural intervention of school support to reduce HIV risk behaviors among orphan adolescents in Kenya

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-investigator of several federally funded grants focusing on HIV prevention research. I have a PhD and years of experience conducting research in the realm of HIV.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 5106.0: HIV/AIDS in Africa