Prévention du VIH au Botswana: l'utilisation de réseaux sociaux pour améliorer l'accès de jeunes femmes à des programmes de support structuraux


David Loutfi

Université McGill


Domaine : santé des populations

Programme : Formation de doctorat

Concours 2017-2018


Unité SOUTIEN du Québec (Stratégie de recherche axée sur le patient)

HIV affects 20% of the adult population in Botswana. New infections are highest in young women, related to limited education, gender violence, and engaging in sex in exchange for money. These young women know how to protect themselves from HIV but are not in a position to implement their protective choices (e.g. condom use). Economic opportunities could help them to reduce their reliance on transactional sex. A trial in Botswana is testing an intervention to help young women access support programs (e.g. to set up a small enterprise). The trial runs workshops for young women not in school and not in work to help them access the programs. However, it has been difficult to reach the most vulnerable young women to invite them to these workshops and so this research aims to develop a more effective way of reaching them. Young women themselves and other community members will identify young women that could benefit from these programs.

We will interview the first group of identified young women, and ask them to identify others, who we will interview in turn and ask to identify others. This will continue until no new women are named in a community. This method uses community knowledge and existing social networks to identify and recruit the most vulnerable young women. From the interviews with young women we will build and analyse a map of their social networks. We will take this information back to young women and others in the communities to jointly develop a plan to reach vulnerable young women in other communities.

The aim is to improve access to training and support services for young women, and to empower young women to make choices to protect themselves from HIV. The findings could be useful for reaching vulnerable groups in Canada.