In a speech given on World AIDS Day, President Armando Emilio Guebuza of Mozambique expressed his appreciation for the HIV prevention community activities conducted by the PACTO Project (Active Prevention and Communication for All) which is led by JHU∙CCP and the Foundation for Community Development (FDC). He emphasized that the fight against HIV/AIDS needs a multi-level approach, including behavioral and biomedical interventions as well as action at the community level.
President Guebuza was pleased that new and effective community communication tools are being used in Mozambique. While there was some previous concern that HIV/AIDS prevention activities and messages were not properly aligned with the cultural setting and aspirations of the population, President Guebuza underscored that the Mozambicanisation of more recent communication messages, such as Tchova Tchova, is demonstrating effectiveness in reducing high-risk behaviors.
PACTO supported the organization of the World AIDS Day event hosted by CNCS (National HIV/AIDS Council) by featuring Tchova Tchova Historias de Vida and the SensaSons Youth Music Contest and Festival initiative—both of which were praised by President Guebuza during his remarks to the audience. A five-minute Tchova Tchova video called “Blaming Does Not Help” was shown, depicting a married couple that chose to face HIV together rather than blaming each other, which brought them closer together. The video was followed by a community dialogue on stage which focused on prevention of mother-to-child transmission. Iolanda, the female voice of the local band Kakana, performed Borboleta (Butterfly), one of the 10 winning lyrics from PACTO’s SensaSons HIV Prevention Lyrics Contest. SensaSons engaged young students to submit lyrics related to HIV/AIDS prevention that were set to music by renowned musician and composer Moreira Chonguiça.
Mozambique’s World AIDS Day event took place in Boane, in Maputo Province. The event was broadcast across the country and featured a high-level audience that included the President and First Lady Maria de Luz Guebuza; Prime Minister Alberto Vaquina; Minister of Health Alexandre Manguele; Executive Secretary of the AIDS Council Joana Mangueira; U.S. Ambassador Douglas Griffiths; and USAID Acting Director Polly Dunford.
PACTO is a four-year USAID-funded project that aims to facilitate structural, normative and behavioral change to lower barriers to HIV services; increase demand for PMTCT, VMMC, Testing and Counseling among men and women; assure ART adherence and positive prevention lifestyles among PLWHA; condemn gender based violence across all media and community interventions; and promote the utilization of the GBV service continuum in Mozambique.