PACTO (Prevenção Activa e Comunicação Para Todos or Active Prevention and Communication for All) was a four-year project in Mozambique designed change behaviors and social norms in the three provinces of Southern Mozambique with the highest HIV prevalence.
The project aimed to lower barriers to HIV services; increase demand for medication to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, HIV testing and counseling and voluntary male circumcision; assure adherence to anti-retroviral therapy and positive prevention lifestyles among people living with HIV and AIDS; and condemn gender-based violence across all media and community interventions.
Among PACTO’s accomplishments:
- Developed Tchova Tchova Histórias de Vida – TTHV (Moving Forward Life Stories), designed to promote gender equity, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment adherence, participatory development and collective action. TTHV helps facilitate social and behavioral change through a process of community dialogue, in which women and men discuss and explore risk factors and critically examine how social and gender norms operate in their own lives, their families and communities. More than 156,900 people participated.
- In a culture where HIV stigma is very high, nearly 79,000 people with HIV participated in the Positive Prevention package, eight sessions of community discussions in small groups to increase knowledge and skills about HIV, prevent new infections and support each other through adherence to treatment. After the sessions, participants were more likely to be literate about HIV treatment, adhere to it, continue to receive services and be champions to support others with HIV.
- In partnership with the government, major telephone companies and other partners, PACTO helped revitalize the Alô Vida Hotline in November of 2012. The hotline provides free counseling and information about health, specifically HIV prevention referring clients for care. About half of the calls were related to HIV and AIDS. The most frequently asked questions noted thus far have been related to forms of HIV transmission, symptoms of STIs, locations of HIV testing facilities and HIV prevention, including the prevention of mother-to-child transmission.
- Partnered with famous Mozambique musician and composer to create the SensaSons lyrics contest and youth music festival. Youth were mobilized through Facebook and by artists in the schools, involving about 4,000 students in discussions about sexuality, modern lifestyles, peer pressure and the risks associated with violence, sexual abuse and HIV. The final stage of SensaSons was a mega music festival, where musicians performed the 10 winning songs and the CD with these songs was launched.