Responding to changes in HIV policy: Updating and enhancing the Families Matter! curriculum

Kim S Miller, Kate Winskell, Faith L Berrier
2015 Health Education Journal  
Objectives-The past decade has seen changes in US HIV policy in sub-Saharan Africa in response to a new Administration and far-reaching technical, scientific and programmatic developments. These include: dramatically increased access to life-saving ART and related services; the roll-out of voluntary medical male circumcision; and growing sensitivity to genderbased violence, including child sexual abuse, and to its role in increasing vulnerability to HIV. The Families Matter! Program (FMP) is an
more » ... intervention for parents and caregivers of 9-12 yearolds that promotes effective parent-child communication about sexuality and sexual risk reduction. FMP was adapted from a US evidence-based intervention in 2003-4 and is now implemented in eight African countries. In 2012-13, the FMP curriculum was updated and enhanced to respond to new US Government priorities. Methods-Enhancements to the curriculum drew on the results of Violence Against Children surveys, on a review of existing literature, on feedback from the field on the existing curriculum, and on stories written by young people across Africa for scriptwriting competitions. Results-We updated FMP with scientific content and stronger linkages to services. We also intensified our focus on structural determinants of risk. This contextualisation of sexual risk-taking within structural constraints led us to place greater emphasis on gendered vulnerability and the diverse pressures children face, and to intensify our situation-based pedagogical approach, drawing on the authentic youth-authored narratives. Conclusion-We describe these changes as an illustration of and source of insight into muchneeded programmatic adaptation in response to evolving HIV policy.
doi:10.1177/0017896915595530 pmid:26949267 pmcid:PMC4770810 fatcat:dlajviuxhfhqpicf3lho4hecge