Young people in Zambia who were trained to provide care and support to individuals and families affected by AIDS have proven to be a vital resource to their communities. In a country where adult HIV prevalence is 13 percent among males and 18 percent among females, communities are seeking new ways of helping those infected and affected by the disease. As the needs of people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHA) and orphans and vulnerable children continue to escalate, results from an intervention study by the Horizons Program, in partnership with Care International and Family Health Trust, provide a promising picture of young peoples’ potential to contribute to community-based care and support activities. The study also indicates that involving young people in the care and support of persons affected by HIV and AIDS may have a positive effect on their adoption of protective behaviors. As noted in this brief, this quasi-experimental intervention study sought to determine which care and support needs of PLHA and their families can be met by trained youth and to establish whether youth engaged in formalized care and support activities would increase their adoption of protective behaviors.
Esu-Williams, Eka, Scott Geibel, Joseph Motsepe, Katie D. Schenk, Moses Zulu, and Petronella Bweupe. 2003. "Involving youth in the care and support of people affected by HIV and AIDS," Horizons Research Summary. Washington, DC: Population Council.