Evaluation of the Bashment Bus adolescent-friendly mobile HIV prevention and testing service
N. Condell1, C. Pious2, V. Thompson2
1UNICEF, Children and HIV/AIDS Programme, Kingston, Jamaica, 2Children First, Spanish Town, Jamaica
Issues: An estimated 1.8% of Jamaicans are living with HIV, with adolescents at high risk of infection. According to a 2008 national survey, 76% of sexually active males and 21% of females 15-24 years reported multiple partnerships. Twenty-three of males and 56% of females in this group did not use a condom at last sex. A further 37% traded sex for money or gifts with 43% reporting no condom use at last sex. Since 2006, the media has frequently reported on students involved in risky sex on buses.
Description: Launched in 2006, the “Bashment Bus” is a youth-friendly mobile HIV prevention service providing sexual and reproductive health services, including HIV testing, for young people between 10 -19 years. Making stops throughout hard-to-reach communities in three of the most affected parishes, peer educators use dance, drama and other forms of popular culture to convey prevention messages.
Lessons learned: A 2008 evaluation measured the impact of the service against the baseline data generated in 2006, finding that:
The proportion of adolescents who correctly identified two methods of HIV prevention increased by 15% in 2008;
the proportion of adolescents who rejected HIV transmission myths reduced from 49% in 2006 to 32% in 2008;
condom use with a non-regular partner increased, with 74% of girls and 88% of boys reporting condom use at last sex with a non-regular partner, compared with 54% and 77% respectively in 2006;
forced sex among adolescents in transactional sex relationships reduced from 60% in 2006 to 38% in 2008.
Next steps: The expansion of the service through partnerships with the Ministry of Health and increased targeted interventions among young men who have sex with men.
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