Street Smart Uganda; UYDEL

HIV Prevention for Youth

At a glance:

Project Type: 

Homelessness
HIV/AIDS Intervention for Slum Youth

Targeted Risk Group: 

Urban Ugandan youth (UYDEL)

Street Smart was an intensive HIV/AIDS program for slum youths whose behaviors place them at risk of becoming HIV infected. It was implemented in collaboration with Uganda Youth Development Link.

Based on the fact that adolescence is a time of experimentation and developmental change in behavior, thoughts and emotions, Street Smart linked feelings, thoughts, emotions and attitudes to behavior change.

In 2007, nearly 1 million young people became infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. Existing prevention programs have not been effective, prompting more attention toward the social determinants of HIV, such as unemployment. Without hope for the future, it is unlikely that young people will be motivated to remain free of HIV, as poverty creates vulnerability to survival sex or sex without condoms. The Street Smart intervention was developed in the United States to eliminate or reduce HIV risk behaviors among young people. Despite its success, it does not address the problems of economic vulnerability and investment in the future. The aim of this study was to test the added value of vocational training provided to urban Ugandan youth, in addition to the Street Smart HIV prevention program.

Download the UYDEL 2010 brochure here: Uydel Brochure 2010 (640)

Interventions, Training Manuals, etc. : 

  1. Street Smart Introduction (1136)
  2. Street Smart Session 1: Language of HIV and STDs (1263)
  3. Street Smart Session 2: Personalized Risk (1040)
  4. Street Smart Session 3: How to Use Condoms (1638)
  5. Street Smart Session 4: Drugs and Alcohol (1108)
  6. Street Smart Session 5: Recognizing and Coping with Feelings (1023)
  7. Street Smart Session 6: Negoating Effectively (944)
  8. Street Smart Session 7: Self Talk (1010)
  9. Street Smart Session 8: Safer Sex (936)
  10. Street Smart Session 9: Personal Counseling (926)
  11. Street Smart Table of Contents (905)

Intervention model: 

Street Smart consists of a total of 10 sessions (eight two- hour group sessions, one individual session and a group visits to a community health resource), exposes youth to information regarding HIV/AIDS, drug abuse, condom use, personalized risks, negotiating safer sex, recognizing and coping with feelings and self talk. Intervention sessions included participatory discussions, role-plays & use of tokens. Participants were divided into groups consisting of 8 to 9 members per group. Each group attended 3 sessions a week, each session lasting an average of 2hrs and 30 minutes.

Research Methods:

The project included a total of 50 street and slum youth from two slum centers in Kampala. Participants completed a behavioral assessment at baseline and at 4-months. Twenty-five participants from one slum center initially served as the control group and received the intervention after their 4-month follow-up assessment. Twenty-five participants from the second slum center received the 10-session HIV prevention intervention immediately following their Baseline assessment.

Local Significance: 

A total of 24 participants (96%) completed the entire 10 session intervention. The youth were also linked to important support services available to them. Given the small sample size and limited statistical power, longitudinal hierarchical linear models to examine the efficacy of the intervention were not appropriate. However, feedback gathered from both the youth participants and research staff, the intervention was very well-received. The youth’s engagement in the intervention is also apparent in the extremely high completion rate of the intervention.

International Significance: 

There were two primary objectives to the collaboration with Uganda Youth Development. The first objective was to build the research capacity and skills among the team of Uganda collaborators. During the course of the project, the UCLA team conducted non-formal and formal training activities in Uganda. The second objective was to adapt, implement, and evaluate the efficacy of the adapted HIV prevention intervention with street and slum urban youth in Kampala, Uganda. This was accomplished through the collaborative effort of the UCLA researchers and the Uganda research team.

The Street Smart intervention continues to be implemented by the staff at UYDEL, demonstrating the staff support and commitment to the intervention and the work completed through the research. Mr. Rogers Kasirye has consulted with other Ugandan agencies regarding the development of interventions and research with street and slum youth in Uganda.

Despite some study limitations, the results suggest that at 4 months the vocational training program improved employment, satisfaction with life, and social support; and reduced delinquent behaviors. Vocational training plus Street Smart improved social support and reduced sexual risk-taking, delinquent behavior, and substance use at 2 years. Fewer than half had ever worked prior to the program, but over 80% were employed at 2 years. Larger trials of HIV interventions addressing social determinants are warranted.