Link Up is an ambitious, five country project which aims to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of more than one million young people living with and affected by HIV in Bangladesh, Burundi, Ethiopia, Myanmar and Uganda.
The majority of SRHR/HIV programmes focus on adults living with HIV or on married women of reproductive age. Young people in many countries are often underserved by these programmes, or in the case of young people living with and affected by HIV, not served at all.
Link Up aims to change this. The project recognises that young people remain at the centre of the HIV epidemic and they have the power, through their leadership, to help bring an end to AIDS. However, they face multiple barriers to contributing to HIV and SRHR policy and programme development processes.
Over a period of three years, the project will:
- provide comprehensive education on SRHR;
- build the skills and knowledge of civil society, ministries of health and governments to deliver improved services which young people feel safe and comfortable accessing;
- promote and protect the needs and rights of young people affected by HIV in their own national contexts;
- gather evidence around what works when integrating sexual and reproductive health and HIV services to inform the development of new services.
Download this two page project overview (available in English and French).
Download this policy briefing which summarises our recommendations for governments, ministries of health, donors, global policymakers and civil society groups.
Link Up will distinctively work with young women and men living with and affected by HIV aged 24 years and under, with a particular focus on young women and men living with HIV, sex workers and children who are exploited for sex†, men who have sex with men and , transgender people, all of whom experience extreme difficulties accessing services due to the high levels of stigma, discrimination, and in some cases, the fear of arrest.
The programme runs from January 2013 to January 2016. Link Up is funded by a grant of $43.8M from the the Government of the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken or BUZA)through its Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Fund.
†We refer to sex workers (aged 18-24) where relevant and ‘children exploited for sex’ for those aged below it.
The Link Up partnership
The project draws on the experiences of a consortium of organisations, and the existing strengths of the implementing partners. By ‘linking up’ we will make a significant contribution to the integration of sexual reproductive health and rights interventions.