Strength-based interventions for HIV prevention and sexual risk reduction among girls and young women: A resilience-focused systematic review


Despite significant public health efforts, girls and young women still face gender-specific barriers to achieving optimal physical and mental health. Public health interventions have historically addressed the health needs of girls and young women using risk-focused, or deficit-based, approaches. Emerging research in public health and prevention provides an alternative approach, focusing instead on strengths and resilience. However, evidence remains limited regarding strength-based interventions to improve health outcomes for young women, including outcomes within the critically important areas of sexual and reproductive health. To address this gap in evidence, this review analyses the evidence base for intervention research using a strength-based resilience-focused approach to reduce HIV and sexual risk for girls and young women globally. A systematic search of published literature identified 35 articles, representing 25 unique interventions (N = 25). These interventions employed in-person, and other engaging methods, to deliver intervention content aimed at fostering resilience and changing sexual risk behaviours. Results also highlight gaps in measurement and study design, as well as variation in geographic setting and level of behaviour change. This review draws attention to the potential growth of strength-based intervention research, and offers future directions for developing and expanding research on resilience as an urgent global public health priority


LoVette A, Kuo C, Harrison A




  • Population(s)
    • Women
    • Children or Youth (less than 18 years old)
  • Prevention
    • Sexual risk behaviour
    • Education/media campaigns


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