LoveLife Campaign Shows Signs of Influencing Sexual Behavior of South African Youth
There are early signs that loveLife, South Africa's national HIV prevention program, may be helping to change the sexual behavior of young people, Reuters Health reports (Reaney, Reuters Health, 7/8). The initiative is a combined effort of the South African government, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/22). The campaign uses radio programs, television ads, Web sites, billboards and "brightly colored vehicles" to prompt discussion about safe sex among teens and to persuade teens to visit clinics to receive information about HIV/AIDS. In a recent survey of South African youth, 62% of participants said they know about loveLife. Of these respondents, more than 75% said the campaign "made them aware of the risks of unprotected sex," and 65% said the effort "led them to delay or abstain from sex." "All the evidence shows that young people are responding positively to loveLife and are reporting that they are beginning to change their behavior. ... There is early evidence that loveLife is on the right track and could change the course of the epidemic in five years," Dr. David Harrison, head of loveLife, said (Reuters Health, 7/8).
NPR's "Talk of the Nation" July 8 featured an update on the AIDS pandemic in the first hour of the program. Guests included Global Health Council President and CEO Nils Daulaire; Kgapa Mabusela, program officer at Lovelife; Berhard Schwarzlander, director of the World Health Organization's HIV/AIDS department and Zola Tshabalala, youth educator and ground breaker at LoveLife. The full segment is available in RealPlayer Audio online ("Talk of the Nation," NPR, 7/8).