On July 19th at the International AIDS Conference in South Africa, PEPFAR announced the winners of the DREAMS Innovation Challenge. DREAMS selected 56 innovators from 15 countries who offer new ways to empower young women. Adolescent girls and young women represent 75 percent of new HIV infections among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa.
DREAMS knows that traditional health sector approaches are not enough to substantially change the status quo and achieve a 40 percent reduction in HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in the highest burden areas of the DREAMS countries by 2017. Through the Challenge, DREAMS generated more than 800 innovative ideas, more than half from new partners. As a result, more than 60 percent of our Challenge winners are small, community-based organizations and nearly half have never previously received PEPFAR funding.
The winners proposed new approaches yet to be applied to six Challenge Focus Areas or implemented in the 10 DREAMS countries, offer sustainable solutions that may be scaled or replicated in on one or more of the DREAMS countries to lead to long-lasting change, and demonstrate readiness for rapid implementation within two years. See highlights of winning innovations in each focus area and a list of the Challenge winners below.
The $385 million DREAMS public-partnership, led by PEPFAR and with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Girl Effect, Johnson & Johnson, Gilead Sciences, and ViiV Healthcare, is supporting adolescent girls and young women to become Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe. The $31 million DREAMS investment in Uganda aims to reach 335,000 young women in two years.
The DREAMS Innovation Challenge will accelerate progress toward the DREAMS target of achieving a 40 percent reduction in new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in the highest-burden areas of 10 sub-Saharan African countries by the end of 2017.
Learn more about the DREAMS Innovation Challenge winners and how they are helping to create an AIDS-free generation at www.dreamschallenge.org.