DAR ES SALAAM: THE University of Florence and Doctors with Africa CUAMM has underscored the need for taking urgent measures to transform the lives of adolescents and young adults living with HIV.
The remarks were made by Chiara Didonè, the Project Manager at Doctors with Africa CUAMM in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
“Despite being a high-risk group for HIV, only a small percentage of adolescents and young adults (10-24 years) were accessing crucial HIV services, leaving a pressing question,” she said.
Ms Didonè noted that the event held yesterday was aimed to disseminate the research findings and lessons learned from the project carried in Shinyanga region and foster engagement with international stakeholders to bolster the fight against HIV/AIDS in the country, fueled by the invaluable insights gained from the ‘HIV & Adolescents’ experience.
She said their pioneering research project, ‘Improving health and well-being of adolescents and young adults living with HIV (AID 012349/01/6),’ funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, sheds light on vital insights and lessons learned.
She said the urgency of focusing on youth living with HIV arose from CUAMM’s extensive work in the region since 2015.
The project’s overarching goal was to enhance access and quality of prevention, early diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up for this vulnerable demographic by gaining a deeper understanding of healthcare service effectiveness in the designated facilities.
Under this project, Doctors with Africa CUAMM collaborated with health centers and hospitals in Shinyanga, conducting informative sessions on HIV and infectious diseases, particularly in schools.
The sessions provided an opportunity for attendees to undergo HIV testing.
Simultaneously, the University of Florence led the research component, with three key objectives namely to uncover barriers hindering access to HIV services for adolescents and young adults living with HIV, explore their psychophysical well-being, and investigate the impact of Covid-19 on this group’s access to HIV services and psychological health.