Using soccer to build confidence and increase HCT uptake among adolescent girls: a mixed-methods study of an HIV prevention programme in South Africa

Rebecca Beth Hershow, Katherine Gannett, Jamison Merrill, Elise Braunschweig Kaufman, Chris Barkley, Jeff DeCelles, Abigail Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

HIV prevalence is eight times higher in young South African women compared to men. Grassroot Soccer (GRS) developed SKILLZ Street (SS), a single-sex intervention using soccer to improve self-efficacy, HIV-related knowledge and HIV counselling and testing (HCT) uptake among girls aged 12–16 years. Female community leaders – ‘coaches’ – deliver 10 two-hour sessions bi-weekly. Attendance and HCT data were collected at 38 programmes across five GRS sites during 24 months in 2011–2012. A total of 514 participants completed a 16-item pre/post questionnaire. Focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with participants (n = 11 groups) and coaches (n = 5 groups), and coded for analysis using NVivo. Of 1953 participants offered HCT, 68.5% tested. Overall, significant pre/post improvement was observed (p < 0.001). FGDs suggest participants: valued coach–participant relationship; improved self-efficacy, HIV-related knowledge, communication and changed perception of soccer as a male-only sport; and increased awareness of testing's importance. Results suggest SS helps at-risk girls access HCT and HIV-related knowledge while promoting self-confidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1009-1022
Number of pages14
JournalSport in Society
Volume18
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 14 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies

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