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Citation Information

Type Working Paper - Sports-Based Health Interventions
Title Skillz Kenya: An HIV/AIDS Youth Prevention Initiative
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 161-171
URL https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4614-5996-5_12
Skillz Kenya works with young people, principally between the ages of 11 and 20, in schools and community centers in the Eastlands district of Nairobi—a highly impoverished area in which HIV/AIDS is rife. Employing a combination of soccer activities and games, interactive discussions and dedicated time for group counselling, the program aims to:
Educate and inform male and female youth on HIV/AIDS, enabling them to avoid contracting the disease
Build the self-esteem of participants to ensure that they can make healthy and positive decisions when it comes to sex, relationships, and lifestyle to avoid contracting HIV and other STDs
Reduce risky behavior and promote positive behavior change for a healthy and happy life (for example, remaining faithful to one partner, practising safe sex, saying no to exploitative relationships with older partners, stopping using drugs—including intravenous drug use)
Increase access and take-up of HIV testing amongst young people
Foster a more positive attitude amongst participants to those living with HIV/AIDS to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with the disease
Encourage participants’ interest in sport and physical activity necessary for a healthy lifestyle
The program makes effective use of trained peer educators from similar backgrounds to participants and graduates of the program are actively encouraged to share their newly-acquired HIV/AIDS prevention knowledge with members of their own communities.

A major supporting event is the annual Kick “n” Test Tournament in which teams of young male and female players compete, being awarded points not only for winning or drawing matches, but also for each team member screened for HIV and TB.

Between 2003 and 2013, approximately 16,600 young people graduated from the program, 44 % of whom were female. Pre- and post-intervention testing has shown the program to be effective in positively changing knowledge and attitudes relating to HIV/AIDS amongst both male and female participants.

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