SisterLove International South Africa has been implementing the iSTARSHIPP (Innovative Strategies for Those At Risk Seeking High Impact Prevention and PrEP) Program, in the eThekwini and uMgungundlovu Districts in Kwa-Zulu Natal Province and in the Ekurhuleni and City of Johannesburg Districts in Gauteng Province.
iSTARSHIPP is a DREAMS Innovation Challenge project funded by PEPFAR. The iSTARSHIPP Initiative is an innovative suite of strategies that are intended to accelerate the reduction of new HIV infections among Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) and their male counterparts. The primary goal is to educate, prepare, advocate and support communities, especially women/girls and young men, for the implementation of High Impact Prevention (HIP) programs including prevention technologies such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), Treatment as Prevention (TasP), Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC), and microbicides and vaccines; as well as to build the capacity of local community-based organizations (CBOs), parents, and health care providers through training and mentorship.
iSTARSHIPP is a compendium of innovative interventions that includes capacity building, community education and prevention advocacy; designed as a collective or group of individual interventions that can be trained, evaluated, monitored and replicated.
iSTARSHIPP is uniquely suited to address challenges faced by adolescents and young people and provides high quality and reliable information in a safe space. HIV Testing Services (HTS) and linkage to care is provided onsite when interventions are facilitated. It is innovative and unique, because its grounded in the following principles of practice: women-centered, feminist-based, human rights & reproductive justice, lived experiences/power of own story, respect and acknowledgement of women’s sexuality and sexual rights, non-judgmental, inclusive and trusted, and, the “I” principles (imagination, inclusion, innovation, intersectional, interrelated & interdependent, integration).
Using evidence-based programs have demonstrated the ability to reduce HIV incidence; and increasing networks provides opportunities for peer-to-peer information sharing that can increase the use of effective approaches and impact behavior.