Adolescents

Every pregnancy wanted.

Grant portfolio

One sixth of the world's population is an adolescent - that is 1.2 billion people aged between 10 and 19 years old.  

Pregnancy at an early age robs girls of their life chances. It harms their health, education and future prospects. Childbearing at a young age also affects the health and well-being of their children. They are more likely to grow up stunted, where their bodies and brains do not develop properly. A vicious cycle holds back generation after generation.

While there is growing recognition that adolescents are often ignored and face significant risks, too many governments, communities and organisations are still reluctant to acknowledge adolescent sexuality. Too often, they deny their sexual rights or allocate little more than token resources.  Furthermore, adolescents are the only age group where deaths from AIDS are increasing - two million adolescents live with HIV.

Few interventions will deliver a greater return on investments than empowering teenage girls and boys with the skills, knowledge and tools to control their sexual and reproductive health.

We aim to shape an AIDS free generation where every teenage girl has agency to avoid unwanted pregnancies and is able to access their sexual and reproductive rights.

Beattie is pregnant

Integrated sexual health services

We want to change the way adolescents are treated so that teenagers have a role in shaping the design and approach to sexual health services. Placing adolescents at the centre of joined-up services will improve delivery, accountability and allow new platforms to flourish. 

This means radically changing demand and discourse, supporting bold behaviour change and social media innovations along with stronger integration across sectors. 

Our investments push for greater integration of contraception and HIV services, so that adolescents can access joined-up platforms to prevent pregnancy and protect themselves against sexually-transmitted infections. 

Self-testing & self-medication

We help develop tools with transformational potential for self-diagnosis (HIV self-testing) and self-medication (contraceptive self-injection) which strengthen user-controlled choice. This shift is already beginning to happen and has a profound implications for adolescents and young people. It is altering power dynamics, opening new delivery channels and making use of new technologies. 

This work on self-testing for adolescents builds on CIFF's long-standing commitment to close the gap in HIV treatment rates between adults and children, and to end paediatric AIDS by preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

To learn more about how HIV impacts adolescents and how Tanzania's Adolescent Clubs are helping, watch this short film. 

Click here to learn more about how we're working with PEPFAR to get 300,000 children with HIV in Tanzania on to life-saving treatment. 

Leo (MTV Shuga)

Young voices

We need to inject energy and anger to support agendas that are driven, sustained and owned by local organisations that are globally connected. 

This means finding and investing in partners who are prepared to tackle the taboo of adolescent sexuality. CIFF supports local organisations and helps them develop long-term capacity for policy change. 

While prioritising country-level advocacy, we will continue to support the global agenda. We will help raise the voices of adolescents and parents to demand the changes they deserve.

This can include supporting promoting safe sex through MTV Shuga or working with the award-winning Shujaaz to develop a safe online space for discussion about difficult issues like contraception and abortion.

Investments