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DREAMS: Stemming the tide of HIV in Adolescent Girls

Active Since: 2016

Multi-Company Partnership

Contributing to SDGs…

Helping girls develop into Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe women.



  • Bilateral Organisations

    US Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)

  • Global NGOs

    Girl Effect

  • Pharma (Non-IPFMA Member)

    Gilead Sciences

    ViiV Healthcare

  • Private foundation or development organization

    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

  • Generic manufacturers

    ViiV Healthcare


  • Reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African countries.
  • Have a positive impact on adolescent girls and young women’s health, development, and wellbeing & ensure them an AIDS-free future.

Despite considerable progress in the overall global HIV/AIDS response, gender and age disparities in high-HIV burden remain almost unchanged. 380,000 girls and young women are infected with HIV every year in sub-Saharan Africa, which accounts for 71 percent of new HIV infections among adolescents in the region. In 2014, this figure represented nearly half of all the new HIV infections that occurred among adolescent girls and young women globally.

The goal of DREAMS is to help girls develop into Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe women.

The 10 DREAMS countries (Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) account for more than half of all the new HIV infections that occurred among adolescent girls and young women globally in 2015.

DREAMS delivers a core package that combines evidence-based approaches that go beyond the health sector, addressing the structural drivers that directly and indirectly increase girls’ HIV risk, including poverty, gender inequality, sexual violence, and a lack of education.

Many adolescent girls and young women lack a full range of opportunities and are too often devalued because of gender bias, leading them to be seen as unworthy of investment or protection. Social isolation, economic disadvantage, discriminatory cultural norms, orphanhood, gender-based violence, and school drop-out all contribute to girls’ vulnerability to HIV.
DREAMS Partners include the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Girl Effect, Johnson & Johnson, Gilead Sciences, and ViiV Healthcare*.

In February 2016, PEPFAR, Janssen, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and ViiV Healthcare launched the DREAMS Innovation Challenge. The DREAMS Innovation Challenge brings together thinkers from inside and outside the HIV sector to implement solutions that address the root causes increasing girls’ HIV risk. Together, the partners committed $85 million for this new initiative which is calling for high-impact innovative, sustainable solutions in six focus areas of work:

  • Strengthening Capacity of Communities for Service Delivery
  • Keeping Girls in Secondary School
  • Linking Men to Services
  • Supporting Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • Providing a Bridge to Employment
  • Applying Data to Increase Impact


*ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established in November 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) dedicated to delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV and for people who are at risk of becoming infected with HIV. Shionogi joined in October 2012. The company’s aim is to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before and take a new approach to deliver effective and innovative medicines for HIV treatment and prevention, as well as support communities affected by HIV.

"The future of these fragile communities depends on the health and well-being of young women. Were aiming to stop the cycle of HIV transmission by working to ensure that adolescents have the tools to stay HIV-free and manage their status."
Jaak Peeters
Head of Global Public Health at Johnson & Johnson


SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing

  1. 3.3: Communicable Diseases & NTDs

SDG 5: Gender Equality

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals 


In the 10 African countries (63 districts) implementing PEPFAR’s DREAMS partnership, the majority (65 percent) of the highest-HIV-burden communities or districts achieved a 25-40% or greater decline in new HIV diagnoses among young women, and new diagnoses declined in nearly all DREAMS intervention districts.

The government of South Africa created She Conquers, a national campaign that will extend DREAMS beyond the five PEPFAR-supported districts. Swaziland has expanded its DREAMS interventions for adolescent girls and young women to reach near national coverage. Malawi is also expanding beyond DREAMS districts.

DREAMS activities have been integrated into country operational plans in all 10 DREAMS countries, and DREAMS-like activities were added to 5 additional countries: Botswana, Cote D’Ivoire, Haiti, Namibia, and Rwanda.