DREAMS: Stemming the Tide of HIV in Adolescent Girls

Partnership objectives

  1. Reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African countries;
  2. Have a positive impact on adolescent girls and young women’s health, development, and wellbeing & ensure them an AIDS-free future.

The program aims to have a positive impact on adolescent girls and young women’s health, development, and wellbeing & ensure them an AIDS-free future. The program aims to have a positive impact on adolescent girls and young women’s health, development, and wellbeing & ensure them an AIDS-free future. Copyright Johnson & Johnson

What are the health needs and challenges?

Despite considerable progress in the overall global HIV/AIDS response, gender and age disparities in high-HIV burden remain almost unchanged. 380,000 girls and young women are infected with HIV every year in sub-Saharan Africa, which accounts for 71 percent of new HIV infections among adolescents in the region. In 2014, this figure represented nearly half of all the new HIV infections that occurred among adolescent girls and young women globally.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

DREAMS delivers a core package that combines evidence-based approaches that go beyond the health sector, addressing the structural drivers that directly and indirectly increase girls’ HIV risk, including poverty, gender inequality, sexual violence, and a lack of education.

Many adolescent girls and young women lack a full range of opportunities and are too often devalued because of gender bias, leading them to be seen as unworthy of investment or protection. Social isolation, economic disadvantage, discriminatory cultural norms, orphanhood, gender-based violence, and school drop-out all contribute to girls’ vulnerability to HIV.

Measurement of progress towards objectives:

Launched on World AIDS Day 2014, DREAMS is delivering a Core Package of evidence-informed interventions in 10 countries - Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe - which account for nearly half of all new HIV infections. DREAMS Partners include the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Girl Effect, Johnson & Johnson, Gilead Sciences, and ViiV Healthcare.

In February 2016, PEPFAR, Janssen, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and ViiV Healthcare launched the DREAMS Innovation Challenge. Together, they committed $85 million for this new initiative which is calling for high-impact innovative, sustainable solutions in six focus areas of work:

  1. Strengthening Capacity of Communities for Service Delivery
  2. Keeping Girls in Secondary School
  3. Linking Men to Services
  4. Supporting Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
  5. Providing a Bridge to Employment
  6. Applying Data to Increase Impact

More information on the call are available here.

Partnership information

Company(ies) GlaxoSmithKline , Johnson & Johnson , Pfizer , Shionogi

Partner(s) Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gilead Sciences, Girl Effect, US President´s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), ViiV Healthcare

Type of Partner(s) Government, NGOs, Other Business, PDPs

Therapeutic Focus Infectious Diseases

Disease(s) HIV/AIDS

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Financial Support, Prevention Programs - Awareness & Outreach

Targeted Population(s) Women, Youth

Region(s) Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 10

Country(ies) Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Start Date 2016

More information DREAMS website

Anticipated completion date Ongoing

« The future of these fragile communities depends on the health and well-being of young women. We’re aiming to stop the cycle of HIV transmission by working to ensure that adolescents have the tools to stay HIV-free and manage their status. »

Jaak Peeters, Head of Global Public Health at Johnson & Johnson.