Engaging parents to create an enabling environment for young people's PrEP use: developing and field testing a new tool to supplement family strengthening programs


BACKGROUND: An incredible tool for HIV prevention ' pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) ' continues to be underutilized among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW). AGYW's uptake and continuation of oral PrEP are affected by parental support, particularly if they still live with their parents. AGYW, implementers, parents, and researchers have all called for more parental involvement in PrEP programs, so that parents understand and can support their daughters' effective PrEP use.
DESCRIPTION: The USAID- and PEPFAR-supported CHOICE consortium developed a module to facilitate parental involvement: Engaging Parents to Create an Enabling Environment for Young People's PrEP Use.The module was informed by dialogues'with AGYW, parents participating in family strengthening programs, and program facilitators'and field tested in Kenya and Zimbabwe. It can be paired with and leverages the HIV Prevention Ambassador Training Package, which is designed for young people. Engaging Parentscontains seven activities ' to be delivered together as one session in a larger curriculum-based family strengthening program ' that introduce oral PrEP and the PrEP ring, counter common misconceptions, support parents to speak to their AGYW about PrEP, and encourage parents to reduce PrEP stigma from other adults.
LESSONS LEARNED: During dialogues, parents, facilitators, and AGYW shared priority topics (Figure 1) that were then integrated into the session. In field tests with 147 parents and 57 family strengthening program facilitators, pre-and post-tests showed that PrEP knowledge doubled: average knowledge scores rose from 33% to 68%. In addition, there was a dramatic increase in parents saying they would support their children's PrEP use, from 40% to 60%. Qualitative feedback suggested that participants would also share information with other adults in their social networks.

CONCLUSIONS: Parents can be an invaluable resource in making PrEP an accessible reality for AGYW. Engaging Parents' contributors are currently partnering with AGYW HIV programming across Africa to scale up the module.

Download the e-Poster (PDF)