Assessing the vulnerability and risks of adolescent girls and young women in East and Southern Africa: A preliminary review of the tools in use

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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The sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs of adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) aged 10–24 years remain a cause for concern in the countries of East and Southern Africa (ESA). High rates of adolescent pregnancy and HIV prevalence prevail, and prevention programmes are challenged to identify those at greatest risk. This review aimed to identify tools being used in ESA countries that support the recording of factors that make AGYW vulnerable to SRH risks and document their use. A mixed-methods approach was used to find available English language tools that had been designed to assess the vulnerability of AGYW SRH risks including literature reviews and key informant interviews with thirty-five stakeholders. Twenty-two tools were identified, and experiences of their use obtained through the interviews. All but one tool focused on HIV prevention, and most aimed at establishing eligibility for programmes, though not aligned with programme type. Analyses of the content of seventeen tools showed information collection related to behavioral, biological, and structural risk factors of HIV and other aspects of AGYWs’ lives. There was considerable diversity in the ways in which these questions were framed. Aspects of the processes involved in undertaking the risk and vulnerability assessments are presented.






Reducing HIV Risk among Adolescent Girls and Young Women: Implementation Science around the DREAMS Initiative