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In Eastern and Southern Africa, HIV is the leading cause of death among girls aged 15–19. Despite decades of investment and substantial progress against HIV, adolescent girls remain at disproportionate risk of infection. Few programs have sought to take a “whole girl” approach to addressing the multiple vulnerabilities to HIV infection experienced by the most marginalized adolescent girls in the poorest communities in Africa. “Building the Assets to Thrive: Addressing the HIV-related Vulnerabilities of Adolescent Girls in Ethiopia” is a comprehensive review of three programs implemented and evaluated by the Population Council and the Ethiopian government beginning in 2007: Biruh Tesfa, Meseret Hiwott, and Addis Birhan. These programs seek to reduce Ethiopian girls’ HIV risk by using similar methods to engage girls—and, in the case of one program, the males who play a role in their well-being. This policy brief summarizes Building the Assets to Thrive to provide policymakers and program planners with a road map for creating and supporting evidence-based, locally responsive, simple, effective, scalable, and sustainable programs that produce positive outcomes for girls and their communities.






Biruh Tesfa (“Bright Future”); Meseret Hiwott (“Base of Life”); Addis Birhan ("New Light")