TB HIV Care was invited to partner with the National Department of Health (NDOH) on a Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) grant. Asanda Ngoasheng (Project Manager) and Chanelle Munick (Project Administrator) joined the team to manage the three-month campaign.
The campaign is aimed at three target markets, namely adolescent girls and young women (15-24), men who have sex with men (MSM) and sex workers. This project is about empowering women, men who have sex with men and sex workers to make the right choices as each action has consequences. The campaign will focus on TV and radio public service announcements (PSAs), community dialogues and health calendar day-focused events organised around the key campaign messages of:
- Encouraging clinic visits for all target populations, especially to youth zones and youth clubs.
- Promoting the prevention of STIs, teen pregnancy and HIV through combination prevention, i.e. condom and contraception use.
- Calling for an end to gender-based violence – creating messages about the positive consequences of using your power or strength for good instead of physically abusing women.
- Encouraging the initiation of and adherence to treatment for TB and HIV.
- Testing – know your status, know your power and whether positive or negative, play your part!
An important component of the SBCC project is community dialogue, and TB HIV Care joined Sisonke/SWEAT’s ‘Creative Spaces’ initiative to host a conversation with sex workers.
Asanda Ngoasheng led the conversation and shared SBCC Project messages with the twenty-nine sex workers present. They, in turn, shared their stories of facing discrimination and stigma in clinics, both as sex workers and as people living with HIV. They also shared tried and tested condom negotiation tactics that they use on clients.
Although the topic was serious, there was a jovial mood and happiness at being able to tell their stories and hopefully inspire others to live healthy lives while working in a high-risk industry.
This week the project reached a major milestone when the TV and radio campaign kicked off on the SABC.
The messages portrayed on TV (and then translated into radio skits) focus on the following themes:
- We call for an end to gender-based violence and want men to use their power or strength for good. We call on communities (the power of collective action) to stand up and take action against gender-based violence.
- We call on young girls and young women to overcome their fear of clinics and visit clinics (especially Youth Zones and Youth Clubs) in order to receive combination prevention services (including condoms, contraceptives and/or PrEP) to prevent STIs, teen pregnancy and HIV infection.
- We call on young people to test and know their status.
- We call on young people to adhere to their medication if they receive a positive status – and to keep using condoms if they receive a positive (or negative) status.
- We call on young people to use condoms and see people who carry condoms as sexy and desirable, because they care about protecting the future health of their partners.
- We call on young people to choose a condom in all their sexual interactions in order to reduce the risk of infection with STIs and HIV or the risk of unwanted pregnancies.
The response to the messages so far has been phenomenal, with many people using our dedicated WhatsApp line to ask further questions and seek help for their health concerns.
If you are interested in finding out more about the campaign please click on the following links below: