Evaluation of the Link Up Project with young people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Luwero and Nakasongola districts in Uganda

CHDC in collaboration with the Population Council are evaluating an intervention led by Community Health Alliance Uganda (CHAU), Marie Stopes-Uganda (MSU) and Mildmay consisting of peer-led community outreaches to generate demand among Young people living with HIV/AIDS for integrated SRH/HIV services.  Services were provided through a network of providers in selected health facilities, in Luwero and Nakasongola districts who received HIV/SRH training. Peer-led outreaches attempted to engage young people (10-24 years) not connected to the health system by utilizing networks of trained peer educators to provide a basic HIV/SRH service package consisting of information, counselling and referrals for facility-based services.  Peer educators also tracked and followed-up on uncompleted referred-client visits.

The research team conducted facility assessments in Link Up partner facilities and non Link Up facilities. At baseline and endline, the research team used a checklist to record facility inventory, training materials and human resources. The facility assessment and quality of care included mystery client audits in Link Up partner facilities, to gauge offerings of integrated HIV and SRH services while avoiding observation bias. The experiences of the peer outreach workers and facility‐ based service providers were explored through a series of key informant interviews. The evaluation also consisted of quantitative surveys conducted before and after the intervention. The surveys assessed changes in knowledge, attitudes and practices, including uptake of services and completed referrals. Following the intervention period, in-depth-interviews were conducted with a purposively selected group of young PLHIV who completed or do not complete referrals to better understand their experiences of obtaining services from peer educators and factors that facilitated or hindered complete referrals.