About Us

Rise Up! Overview


In October 2017, the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) team initiated a collaborative process with members of the Zambian Ministry of Health, the Medical Director of Chawama District Hospital (Dr. Shula Chanda) and other HIV specialists at Chawama Hospital to conduct a needs assessment of the Chawama catchment area.

Out of this collaboration, the “Rise Up!” Program was born. The overarching goal of “Rise Up!” is to reduce HIV infection rates among 15-24-year-old adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in Zambia, a group that has been left behind as progress in reducing HIV in other groups has been achieved.

By the year 2020, the Rise Up! Model entered a phase referred to as “Rise Up! Scale Up”. This phase aimed to strengthen community- based and clinical services for AGYW through established houses and youth friendly services at four Level 1 District Hospitals in Lusaka- Chawama, Chilenje, Matero, and Kanyama. With COP 20 funding, the “Rise Up! Expansion” phase will aim to apply the Rise Up! Model to hospitals and communities in other provinces as reflected in the following objectives.

The objectives of the Rise Up! Program are:
  • To reduce HIV infection rates among 15-24-year-old adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in Zambia by preventing new infections, ensuring adherence to medication, and suppression of viral load.
  • To replicate the Rise Up! Model in Level 1 hospitals in the Lusaka District and beyond.
  • To link and retain newly diagnosed HIV-positive AGYW to HIV care, treatment, and psychosocial support. Provide intervention activities including youth friendly HIV peer navigation services.
  • To create and nurture partnerships with CBOs and IPs to enhance efficiency and sustainability.
  • To provide linkage to PrEP services and counseling in a private setting.

Empowering Girls to Learn is the Promise for a Better World

Overall Aim

The aim of this component is to improve linkage to and retention in HIV care and treatment for 15-24 year-old HIV-positive females in 4 General Hospitals in Lusaka and 5 Clinics in Copperbelt. Intervention activities will include partnership with existing HIV testing and DREAMS agencies to implement youth friendly HIV peer navigation services that efficiently link newly diagnosed HIV-positive adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) to HIV care, treatment, and psychosocial support.

Zambia’s PEPFAR Country Operational Plan outlines youth friendly services as key to retaining youth in care and achieving virologic suppression, with a particular focus on.

  • ensuring the availability of youth friendly services that are accessible, acceptable, equitable, appropriate, and effective,
  • improving adolescent adherence,
  • ensuring human resources are comprehensively trained in youth-friendly (patient-centered) care; an,
  • ensuring youth engagement and feedback.


AIDS is currently the leading cause of death among young people between ages 10 and 24 in Africa and the second leading cause globally.


In 2016, 73% of new HIV infections among adolescents occurred in Africa and women are twice as likely to acquire HIV compared to young men.


The high HIV/AIDS numbers in youth, especially with women being more vulnerable, in part is due to the adulthood transition where youth are exploring and navigating relationships, gender norms, sexual responsibility.


In Zambia, adolescents account for over a quarter (27%) of the total population.