The relationship between poverty and HIV is complex, but the evidence of that relationship has been so strong that household economic strengthening (HES) interventions are considered core to OVC programming. Informal saving and lending groups, or savings groups (SGs), are among the most commonly implemented HES interventions in the PEPFAR programming portfolio–historically, they have targeted caregivers.
This guide’s focus is on HIV-affected young people aged 14–24 years who participate in youth-only adolescent and youth savings groups (AYSG). While evidence about HES interventions with this population is limited, this guide draws on existing evidence and lays out guidance for implementing organizations and donors to make evidence- and practitioner-informed decisions about the design and implementation of AYSG programs that maximize benefits for, and minimize risks to, young people affected by or living with HIV. The guide supports users to consider how AYSG participation affects HIV outcomes and encourages them to monitor this over the course of program implementation.