Two successful projects led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (CCP) were featured in USAID’s recent Technical Issue Brief which highlights its plans to intensify investments in HIV reduction programs targeted at youth.
The brief featured the CCP-led Go Girls! Initiative that operated in Botswana, Malawi and Mozambique from 2007 to 2010 and addressed the contextual factors that can make young women two to four times more likely to be infected with HIV than young men. The initiative included community based interventions, reality radio programming and training in and out of schools for girls, boys and adults.
The brief also featured the CCP-led Active Prevention and Communication for All (PACTO) project that is working to reduce HIV prevalence in Mozambique by addressing barriers to HIV-preventative behaviors. One of PACTO’s most visible and innovative entertainment-education initiative, SensaSons, features a world-renowned musician Moreira Chonguica who visited schools and encouraged youth to express their views about HIV in song lyrics. SensaSons received over 500 lyric entries and awarded ten winners in a ceremony sponsored by BCI (Bank of Commercial Investment). A Music Festival will feature the songs, recognize the contribution of local musicians and praise the work of the ten student winners.
It is critical that HIV interventions target young men and women if the epidemic is to be controlled. CCP leads the field in creating and implementing effective health behavior change projects that target this audience.