UNAIDS and StarTimes are in collaboration on increasing HIV/AIDS awareness among Africans young people with mobile online video application following a meeting in Beijing on Monday.
The meeting which had the theme “Value of New Media in African HIV/AIDS Prevention Campaign”, had in attendance Gertrude Mutharika, the first lady of the Republic of Malawi, Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS executive director, and Guo Ziqi, StarTimes group vice president
It has been an urgent issue for global HIV/AIDS Prevention Campaign to engage in prevention as new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths are more likely to occur among young people in Africa.
In a statement available to business a.m., Michel Sidibe said at the meeting: “We have seen progress in most countries today, but the biggest challenge that we face is complacency. The young people, they don’t have information, they don’t have the knowledge, so they don’t protect themselves…So, information, knowledge and education, and that’s why StarTimes is very important for us.”
He said: “I just want to say sharing information, bringing knowledge and making sure that we can change young people will be key to ending AIDS.”
Sidibé noted that for most African countries, 70 percent of the population is below the age of 35 and they are not getting information. “Our recent approach will completely change the situation and help us to go for a generation free of AIDS.”
With smartphone use and internet penetration soaring, Africa is set for a communication way revolution. Similarly in Europe, the US and China, more and more African young people, get used to watching stream videos on phones.
“Based on this trend, StarTimes launched its video streaming service in African market with StarTimes App in June. Within 3 months, StarTimes App has had 8 million downloads and the figure is expected to be 15 million at the end of this year,” said Guo Ziqi, with noting that StarTimes App right now is streaming the “Zero Discrimination” PSAs as a trial cooperation with UNAIDS through the online video platform.
Gertrude Mutharika, Malawian first lady and former president of the Organization of African First Ladies Against AIDS, said: “Malawi has significant and rapid growth in the number of mobile phones and subscribers over the last two decades. The majority of people who buy phone use it for social media communication as well as a source of information. It is for this reason that we revise HIV prevention strategy and seeks to explore social media technology and platforms to reach out to young people.”