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Glob Public Health. 2017 Aug;12(8):941-953. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2016.1170177. Epub 2016 Apr 24.

How can we better serve adolescent key populations? Strategies to encourage and inform future data collection, analysis, and use.

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a FHI 360 , Durham , NC , USA.
b UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office , Nairobi , Kenya.
c FHI 360 , Accra , Ghana.
d FHI 360 , Baluwatar, Kathmandu , Nepal.
e FHI 360 , Abuja , Nigeria.
f Federal Ministry of Health , Abuja , Nigeria.


Young key populations (ages 10-24) (YKPs) are uniquely vulnerable to HIV infection. Yet they are often underserved, due in part to a limited understanding of their needs. Many successful approaches to understanding YKPs exist but are not widely used. To identify the most useful approaches and encourage their uptake, we reviewed strategic information on YKPs and experiences collecting, analysing, and utilising it from countries in Africa, Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe. As a result, we recommend one central guiding principle - any effort to understand and serve YKPs should include a specific focus on adolescent key populations (AKPs) (ages 10-19) - and three strategies to inform data collection, analysis, and use: tailor recruitment practices to ensure young people's representation, select indicators and research methods based on their ability to inform responsive programming for and give a voice to YKPs, and thoroughly disaggregate data. We demonstrate the utility of each strategy in YKP research and programmes, and in doing so note the particular importance for AKPs. We hope that this paper encourages additional research on YKPs and helps bridge the gap between research and effective programmes to serve the youngest and most vulnerable members of key populations.


HIV prevention; Key populations; adolescents; data for decision-making; young people

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