Reducing HIV in Adolescents is an innovative school-based, conditional cash-transfer HIV-prevention programme focussed on empowering adolescents—especially girls—to make healthy lifestyle choices, to take charge of their own lives, and to reduce their risk of contracting HIV.
RHIVA was first trialled in the rural area of Vulindlela in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa, from 2010 to 2012 (see RHIVA KZN). As a result of the promising results, MIET Africa, in partnership with the SADC Secretariat’s Social and Human Development and Special Programmes Directorate, tested the replicability of the RHIVA programme in Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia. SADC’s CSTL programme was used as the vehicle for taking RHIVA into the Region.
RHIVA KZN and RHIVA Regional were funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
RHIVA KZN was a ground-breaking, school-based HIV-prevention initiative that was implemented by MIET Africa and the KZN Department of Education in 14 rural schools in Vulindlela.
KZN is at the epicentre of the HIV&AIDS pandemic, and so RHIVA was conceptualized as an innovative response to the HIV crisis. Evidence suggests that altering HIV infection rates for young women aged 15–19 could have a substantial impact on the pandemic. So, the primary objective of RHIVA was to assess the effectiveness of a cash-incentivized prevention intervention in reducing HIV-incidence rates in high-school learners.
Learners in the seven “intervention” schools were paid cash incentives for achieving three milestones: academic progression at school; knowing their HIV status; attendance and active participation in a sustainable livelihood programme (My life! My future!). Learners from the seven “control” schools did not receive the incentives. CAPRISA (Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa) conducted a rigorous evaluation of the impact of the programme.
While the impact assessment was unable to demonstrate an impact on HIV infection, the intervention dis enhance uptake of HIV testing services in learners in both intervention and control schools—an important first step in internalization of HIV risk. In the intervention schools there was a demonstrated 36% reduction in Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) acquisition, and a clear “dose relationship” was seen in both HSV-2 and HIV acquisition, whereby greater exposure to the intervention resulted in greater protection.
Participation in My life! My future! exposed learners to an important set of life skills for future planning, including information on sexual reproductive health. This, together with the significant uptake of HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) in the intervention schools, indicates that the model has the potential to reduce the rate of new HIV infections among adolescents.
Given the promising results from the KZN trial, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands approved the testing of this model in three new contexts in the SADC Region, namely in Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia (see RHIVA Regional).
RHIVA KZN was funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Related News, Resources & Publications
- Download: rhiva_baseline_study__20120712_wr This baseline study is part of an evaluative research project seeking to assess the impact of the Reducing HIV in Adolescents (RHIVA) intervention. ... Read More »
- Download: prevalence_of_hiv_hsv_2_and_pregnancy_among_high_school_learners Prevalence of HIV, HSV-2 and pregnancy among high school students in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: a bio-behavioural cross-sectional survey ... Read More »
- Download: rhiva_process_paper Reducing HIV in adolescents using an incentivized behaviour change model ... Read More »
- Download: rfaq_wr This booklet, available in isiZulu, covers all the basic information from how HIV spreads to how learners can help in the fight against HIV and AIDS. ... Read More »
- Download: Game Board A fun board game aimed at adolescents, about choices and consequences with regards to sexual health and wellbeing. The board includes questions and answers, chance blocks, safe … ... Read More »
- Download: my_working_future This resource book, aimed at adolescents, discusses sustainable livelihoods, business skills and career choices. My working future, part of the RHIVA extra-curricular Sustainable Livelihoods Programme, has been developed … ... Read More »
- Download: Staying Healthy Booklet This resource book discusses sexual health and wellbeing. Staying healthy, together with companion resources (Life Orientation material for Grades 10 and 11 and material for an … ... Read More »
- Download: Booklet This booklet is available in isiZulu and provides information on how to budget and draw up your own income and expenditure sheet. It also shows parents and caregivers … ... Read More »
- Download: Booklet This booklet is available in isiZulu and provides information on how to set up a vegetable garden. ... Read More »
- On behalf of the AmaZulu Football Club’s Community Trust, MIET Africa has developed facilitation guidelines for the life skills component of AmaZulu’s extracurricular soccer programme. These guidelines use Staying Healthy, … ... Read More »
- Eyethu Impilo (Our Lives) is the apt name proposed by learners for the Youth Friendly Health Centres (YFCH) that have been set up to service all RHIVA schools. These mobile … ... Read More »
- “Aaaa…..li…li….li….saphindesadlasingasaqali!” These ululations are prominent at RHIVA advocacy events thus far, and express the profound impact RHIVA has had within the Vulindlela community. The RHIVA team recently hosted advocacy events … ... Read More »
- A Grade 12 learner at Huba High who joined the Reducing HIV in Adolescents(RHIVA) programme two years ago, celebrates what she has gained: “… to test for HIV/AIDS is a … ... Read More »
March 2013–December 2015 (In Mozambique, the programme was extended to June 2016 so that outstanding activities could be completed.)
RHIVA was first trialled in the rural area of Vulindlela in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, from 2010 to 2012 (see RHIVA KZN). As a result of the promising results, MIET Africa, in partnership with the SADC Secretariat’s Social and Human Development and Special Programmes Directorate, tested the replicability of the RHIVA programme in Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia.
The regional pilot was run over three years (2013–15). It targeted learners in 21 selected schools in each of the three Member States, working with them until they reached Grade 12 in 2015.
There were three core components of the RHIVA model, which the participating Member States adapted to their specific contexts:
- Incentivized cash payments to learners, who were incentivized through conditional cash transfers to a maximum of US$80 per annum for achieving various milestones (including Knowing your status, an annual HIV test)
- My life! My future!, an extracurricular programme that encourages adolescents to adopt healthy behaviours and to plan for their future
- An awareness programme for parents and caregivers, to empower them to protect and support their adolescent children in their development, and encourage them to talk openly with their children about sexual reproductive health issues
RHIVA Regional was funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Related News, Resources & Publications
- “To ensure sustainability, the RHIVA programme agenda will be integrated in all HIV&AIDS Education initiatives, be part of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), and be mainstreamed through Life Skills education programmes … ... Read More »
- RHIVA Regional welcomes in-country staff at a workshop in Durban In August, the RHIVA Regional Programme held a workshop at the Blue Waters Hotel for the newly appointed in-country … ... Read More »
- Once again, from 20 to 22 November RHIVA Regional staff gathered in Durban for training and orientation on the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework and baseline study. The training was … ... Read More »
- RHIVA (Reducing HIV in Adolescents) was a groundbreaking, school-based, HIV-prevention initiative that was implemented in 14 schools in the rural district of Vulindlela, KwaZulu-Natal. Targeting at-risk 15-20 year old boys … ... Read More »