Socio-economic status plays an important role in HIV risk and prevention. Specifically, poverty can lead to survival sex and unprotected sex. The Nsindikanjake Vocational Training Project, a collaboration between UCLA and the Uganda Youth Development League (UYDEL), aims to reduce HIV risk among urban Ugandan youth through vocational education and training.
Targeted Risk Group:
Urban Ugandan Youth
From February 2005 to January 2006, 100 13- to 23-year-old participants were recruited from two different youth centers in the slums of Kampala, Uganda. Youth were randomized by site to an immediate vocational training intervention (N=50 youth) or a 4-month delayed vocational training (N=50 youth). Participants were assessed at baseline, 4, and 24 months later. Youth were asked about employment, sexual risk behaviors, delinquent behavior, quality of life, mental health symptoms, and drug use.Vocational education consisted of apprenticeships with local artisans for 4 to 8 hours, 5 days a week. Artisans received training in having conversations with youth about HIV and how to cope with unprofessional behavior (e.g., tardiness, hygiene problems). Youth in the delayed training condition received vocational training after a 4-month follow-up assessment was completed. The final assessment was administered 24 months after enrollment, by which time all youth had received training.
Vocational training may be highly useful in supporting the impact of HIV prevention. The participants receiving vocational training showed reduced delinquent behaviors and greater improvements in employment, life satisfaction, and social support compared to control participants . Both conditions demonstrated such improvements at two years, especially ongoing employment which remained strong.