LINK UP was a three (3) year (2013-2015) Netherlands Government (BUZA) funded Project that aimed to achieve better SRHR for young people 10-24 years affected by HIV.
The Project intended to empower young people affected by HIV so that they take up integrated SRHR/HIV services; strengthen capacity of service providers in delivery of quality integrated SRHR/HIV services to the young people; and improve the environment for SRHR/HIV service implementation in the country.
The Project was implemented in 13 Districts in Uganda by a consortium of five partners with Community Health Alliance Uganda (CHAU) as the prime. CYSRA Uganda partnered with community Health Alliance Uganda, to implement the LINK UP project as an advocacy partner in the 2 Districts of Namutumba and Bugiri.
Link Up project interventions mainly focused on key populations including young people living with HIV; female sex workers, truckers and ‘boda bodas’; fisher folks, slum dwellers, teenage mothers, men who sex with men (MSM); and other vulnerable young people in the program districts.
These are reached with a package of integrated SRHR/HIV services. The package comprises of SRHR services like gender and sexuality and sexual counselling and education, violence prevention and post violence counselling; family planning counselling and services; psychosexual counselling and harm reduction; post abortion care and services; and self-examination for breast cancer.
>HIV related services provided on the other hand include psychosocial and positive living support counselling; opportunistic infection treatment; ART treatment and adherence support; palliative care; STI diagnosis and syndromic management; cervical cancer screening and livelihood support. The project also distributed condoms, lubricants and IEC materials and strengthened referral and linkage mechanisms for SRHR and HIV services for young people. HCT, family planning and STI services constitute a minimum package offered to a client.
By the end of Link Up project implementation in Uganda, it was envisaged that young people would be better informed and able to make healthier choices regarding their sexuality; more people have access to anti-retroviral drugs, contraceptives and other commodities required for good sexual and reproductive health; public and private health facilities provide better sexual and reproductive healthcare services which more and more people use; and a greater respect for the sexual and reproductive rights of people to whom these rights are denied.
The Goal and Outcomes of the LINK UP Project
The overall goal of the LINK UP Project was to contribute to reduced unintended pregnancies, HIV transmission and HIV-related maternal mortality amongst young people affected by HIV 10-24 years.
The Project outcomes were:
1.Young people are better informed and are thus able to make healthier choices regarding their sexuality.
2.A growing number of people have access to anti-retroviral drugs, contraceptives and other commodities required for good sexual and reproductive health.
3. Public and private clinics provide better sexual and reproductive healthcare services, which more and more people are using.
4. Greater respect for the sexual and reproductive rights of people to whom these rights are denied.