READY+ is a new four-year programme in southern Africa that will reach 30,000 adolescents and young people living with HIV in Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

HIV is the second largest cause of death of adolescents globally, and the first in Africa. 82% of the 2 million young people living with HIV aged 10-19 live in southern Africa. They face complex challenges related to relationships, mental health, HIV treatment, contraceptive choices and stigma.

READY+ will put these young people at the centre of the design and delivery of the programme, giving them access to information, safe spaces, integrated HIV/SRHR and psychosocial services, and policy platforms to achieve the change they need to live full and healthy lives.

Pacifique 3216Pacifique, 20, is living with HIV. He is optimistic about his future and directs a theatre group which raises awareness of HIV and related issues in Bujumbura, Burundi. © International HIV/AIDS Alliance

Why READY? Young people become ready to make informed decisions about their health and rights; parents and caregivers are ready to support young people to talk about sexuality; service providers are ready to provide youth-friendly services; and decision-makers are ready to champion access to information, services and commodities for adolescents and young people living with HIV. It’s also an acronym which spells out the programme’s purpose: Resilient, Empowered ADolescents and Young people.

The programme will rely on both evidence-based and innovative solutions. 30,000 young people will receive HIV and SRHR education, and 10,000 will be supported by peers, resulting in resilient and empowered young people who are better informed and make healthier choices. 8,000 young people will access high quality integrated HIV/SRHR and mental health services, leading to improved initiation of and retention on ARV treatment. 400 young people will participate in local, national, and global SRH/HIV advocacy activities to address structural barriers to accessing SRH services and realising their sexual and reproductive rights.

A cutting-edge communications campaign will be created to challenge social norms and behaviours that limit adolescent and young people’s access to the SRHR information and services they need and want.

READY+ is funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Maputo, and led by the Alliance in partnership with Y+, AFRICAID/Zvandiri, AIDS Legal Network (ALN), Coordinating Assembly of NGOs in Swaziland (CANGO), Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), M&C Saatchi World Services, Paediatric AIDS Treatment for Africa (PATA), the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI) and Tanzania Council for Social Development (TACOSODE).

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