SAFAIDS has introduced a a young people’s audio magazine programme that seeks to engage young people on HIV prevention and sexual reproductive health rights (SRHR) information.
The project is a SAfAIDS, Viamo, Clinton Health Access Initiative through funding from Aidsfonds partnered with Young People and Peer Educators in Bindura District in Mashonaland Central.
The Audio Magazine is targeting young girls and boys between the age of 15 to 24 years old. Young people can receive information on HIV Prevention and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights once they register on a toll-free number [0783 909 993].
SAfAIDS Programmes Officer Ashley Ngwenya said after registering on the toll-free number, they will call the young person that would have registered so that they can start receiving free information through their mobile phone.
Some of the thematic areas that are in the audio magazine include HIV Basics, HIV Testing, Positive Living for Young People and how to deal with stigma and discrimination.
“When you register, we will then call you back when you are free to talk and give you information on HIV/AIDS and how to live positively,” said Ms Ngwenya.
Ms Ngwenya said they are targeting the 15-24 age group because they make up the highest population percentage in the country.
“We need to make sure that youths are informed to make choices for service uptake in health and education,” said Ms Ngwenya.
Shamiso Joyce Chidhindi a peer educator and a student at Bindura University of Science said the audio magazine informs young people on the importance of HIV testing and how live positively after getting tested and why it is important to get tested and know your status.
Shamiso said they are targeting at reaching more than 1 000 youths in Bindura. She says the programme has been well received especially by students at her tertiary institution.
“Colleagues at the university say they are finding the information from the audio magazine very useful,” she said.
The Young People’s Audio Magazine has also been launched in Midlands Province. SAfAIDS intends to reach more than 10 000 youths through the audio book which is available nationwide. The programme seeks to promote increased HIV prevention knowledge levels in adolescents through mobile delivered audio magazines and encourage uptake of Health Treatment Services. At the same time it also tackle issues of sex, relationships and Gender Based Violence among these priority populations and communities.