UN-backed show highlights lifesaving benefit of ‘edutainment’ in South Africa 

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Young radical successful South Africa changed their attitudes significantly and adopted safer intersexual behaviour, after watching a TV amusement called Down South – which the UN initiative down it describes as a tribute to the powerfulness of “edutainment”.   

A caller report, conducted by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, indicates that, aft watching the episodes, young radical were doubly arsenic apt to get tested for HIV. 

They were besides doubly arsenic apt to cognize their presumption and to beryllium alert of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis, known as PrEP, a cause taken by HIV-negative radical earlier sex, that reduces the hazard of getting HIV. 

A country   connected  the play   2 of the series, that follows young radical   successful  the country

A country connected the play 2 of the series, that follows young radical successful the country, by MTV Staying Alive Foundation / Unitaid

Global campaign 

The Down South series is portion of the multimedia campaign MTV Shuga, a long-running inaugural that follows the lives of young radical connected the African continent.  

Starting successful Kenya successful 2009 arsenic a TV show, the run has present expanded to feature vigor dramas, societal media engagement during and aft shows, graphic novels and peer acquisition programmes.  

Globally, the inaugural has reached young radical successful 72 countries, broadcasting to an estimated 720 cardinal homes.  

The Down South series analysed successful the study includes two seasons and was broadcasted successful South Africa successful 2017 and 2019. 

It was funded by Unitaid, a planetary wellness inaugural that partners with the United Nations, and produced by the MTV Staying Alive Foundation.  


For Hervé Verhoosel, spokesperson for Unitaid, the results “are fantastic quality and further grounds that edutainment is driving existent interaction successful familiarizing young radical with antithetic tools for HIV prevention, including self-tests and PrEP.” 

The request for reliable accusation and services is captious for young radical everywhere, but more acute in countries with precocious HIV prevalence, specified arsenic South Africa, where 7.8 cardinal radical are surviving with the virus. 

According to WHO, astir 19% of radical surviving with HIV successful Africa bash not cognize their status.  

For Mr. Verhoosel, a run similar this “is providing invaluable enactment successful promoting HIV self-testing and prevention” in the continent.   

Study results 

The survey found that the effects increased with greater vulnerability to the series, were arsenic precocious for males and females, and stronger among adolescents (15-19-year olds) than adults aged 20-24 years. 

Among the 3,414 online survey participants, cognition of HIV presumption was higher among those exposed to the 2nd season, astir 58%, compared to the 35% who were not. 

Watching the 2nd play is besides associated with accrued consciousness of HIV self-testing, going from 28 per cent to 60 per cent, and accrued usage of HIV self-testing, expanding from 10 per cent to 29 per cent. 

During the pandemic, the amusement adapted its new content to focus connected COVID-19 through the Alone Together series, besides portion of the MTV Shuga stable of shows. 

Aired connected MTV channels astir the world, the contented is besides offered rights-free to third party broadcasters and platforms, and utilized by educators, healthcare workers and grassroots HIV/AIDS organisations astir the world. 

Over 4 series, the play has crossed the continent from Kenya to Nigeria and touched connected galore plotlines relating to HIV and harmless enactment including HIV testing, stigma, surviving with HIV, parent to kid transmission, transactional sex, gender-based violence, and condom use. 

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