On July 19th at the International AIDS Conference in South Africa, PEPFAR announced the winners of the DREAMS Innovation Challenge. DREAMS selected 56 innovators from 15 countries who offer new ways to empower young women. Adolescent girls and young women represent 75 percent of new HIV infections among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa.
The winners selected will implement innovative solutions in DREAMS districts, across all DREAMS countries and Challenge focus areas. The top three implementation countries – South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda – account for 64 percent of the winners. Of the winners, 18 percent will provide a bridge to employment for adolescent girls and young women; 23 percent will strengthen capacity of local organizations to deliver services; and 9 percent will apply data to increase the impact of HIV/AIDS interventions.
One winning solution will help gather real-time health and well-being feedback from young women in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. This solution will enable programmers to quickly determine what is working, where, and why, and, in turn, allow for agile changes to implementation activities for improved results.
The $385 million DREAMS public-partnership, led by PEPFAR and with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Girl Effect, Johnson & Johnson, Gilead Sciences, and ViiV Healthcare, is supporting adolescent girls and young women to become Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe. The $31 million DREAMS investment in Uganda aims to reach 335,000 young women in two years.
The DREAMS Innovation Challenge will accelerate progress toward the DREAMS target of achieving a 40 percent reduction in new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in the highest-burden areas of 10 sub-Saharan African countries by the end of 2017.
Learn more about the DREAMS Innovation Challenge winners and how they are helping to create an AIDS-free generation at www.dreamschallenge.org.