School of Science / School of Nursing and Midwifery
Edith Cowan University (Higher Degree by Research Scholarship)
Purpose: Interventions focused on promoting resilience or protective factors of youth have been proposed as a strategy for reducing risky behaviours associated with HIV infection among youth; however few studies have explored their effectiveness. This study assessed the impact of a resilience-based HIV prevention intervention (You Only Live Once) on risky sexual behaviours, resilience and protective factors of youth. Methods: A one-group pretest-posttest design was used. One hundred and ninety-seven youth aged 15 – 24 years were conveniently recruited from a non-profit organisation in Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality, South Africa and participated in a 12-session, resilience-based HIV intervention delivered over a 1-week period by trained adult facilitators. Outcomes of interest were assessed at baseline and 3-month follow-up using validated risky sexual behaviour measures, and Child and Youth Resilience Measure. Mixed effect logistic and linear regression models were formulated to assess the impact of the intervention on risky sexual behaviours; resilience and protective factors respectively. Results: Compared to baseline, participants at 3-month follow-up were 68 % less likely to have unprotected sex, 22 % less likely to regret their decision to engage in sexual activity and 0.4 % less likely to be pregnant or made someone pregnant. Conversely, participants at the 3-month follow-up had a higher propensity to engage in multiple sexual partnerships, transactional sex and intergenerational sex than baseline. Participants at 3-month follow-up had significant improvements in their scores of resilience, individual capacities and contextual factors that facilitate a sense of belonging (p < 0.05). Conclusion: You Only Live Once intervention appeared to have mitigated some risky sexual behaviours, and improved resilience and protective factors over a 3-month period. These findings suggest that the intervention has ability to reduce risky sexual behaviours associated with HIV, and improve resilience and protective factors among youth in South Africa. Further evaluation of the intervention with a rigorous study design, larger sample size and longer period for follow-up is warranted.
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