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DREAMS Thina Abantu Abasha: A Youth-led Initiative Aimed at Reducing HIV Infection Rates

Active Since: 2018

Contributing to SDGs…

DREAMS Thina Abantu Abasha (DTAA) is a youth-led initiative aimed at empowering adolescent girls and young women to reduce the rate of HIV infections in South Africa through awareness and empowerment activities, upskilling them with knowledge about sexual & reproductive health, employability and leadership skills.



  • Intergovernmental Organizations and Multilaterals

    United Nations Population Fund


The initiative is aimed at empowering adolescent girls and young women to reduce the rate of HIV infections in South Africa.

What are the health needs and challenges?

Adolescent girls and young women are still disproportionally affected by HIV. In eastern and southern Africa in 2017, 79% of new HIV infections among 10–19-year-olds were among females. An estimated 50 adolescent girls die every day from AIDS-related illnesses, and each day, some 460 adolescent girls become infected with HIV. This must change.

Collaboration activities and how they address needs and challenges

To address this challenge, in 2018, Johnson & Johnson, in collaboration with other organizations, launched DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDSfree, Mentored and Safe) Thina Abantu Abasha (DTAA), a youth-led, peer-to-peer HIV prevention program, which continues to empower adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) with leadership, employability, sexual and reproductive health and rights information, and skills in two South African provinces.

In 2021, the DTAA program reached more than 1.3 million AGYW through a reading competition, targeted radio programming and extensive use of social media. The program has reached a total of nearly 4 million adolescent girls and young women since 2018.


SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing

  1. 3.3: Communicable Diseases & NTDs

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals