Related Resources from Other PEPFAR Partners

Sustainable Livelihood Programs and HIV/AIDS

Youth reproductive health is compromised by poverty, which also results in vulnerability to HIV and other sexually transmitted infection (STIs). Studies have found that girls living in poor households are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors, such as transactional sex, nonconsensual sex, and having sex with multiple partners, compared with those who are better off (Bruce,2006b; Hallman et al., 2007; UNAIDS,2004). Poverty and social isolation may increase girls' risk of sexual coercion, which increases their risk of pregnancy and HIV infection. A study in South Africa found that males and females ages 15-24 years old from poor families are less likely to discuss safe sex options and use preventative measures when engaging in sexual activities, compared with their better-off peers (Hallman et al., 2007). To alleviate poverty and reduce the transmission of HIV, attention is being focused on how sustainable livelihood and microfinance initiatives can help youth lead empowered and productive lives that result in improved health outcomes. This brief provides an overview of livelihood programs and HIV/AIDS and provides a list of resources for further information.