African pay TV platform StarTimes is joining forces with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV & AIDS (UNAIDS) to make youths all over Africa more conscious of HIV/Aids.
This initiative will be made possible with the introduction of a mobile app.
The move was revealed at a meeting held in China by StarTimes group VP Guo Ziqi, First Lady of the Republic of Malawi Gertrude Mutharika and UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé.
With the theme being the Value of New Media in African HIV/Aids Prevention Campaign, Sidibé claimed that most African countries do not have access to information even though about 70% of the population is below 35 years.
He said: “We have seen progress in most countries today, but the biggest challenge that we face is complacency. The young people don’t have information, they don’t have knowledge, so they don’t protect themselves. Information, knowledge and education – that’s why StarTimes is very important for us.
With the increase in usage of the internet and mobile phones in Africa, there will be a huge change in the way people now communicate. Like in other parts of the world, more African youths have grown accustomed to using their phones to watch videos and stream content.
“Sharing information, bringing knowledge and making sure that we can change young people will be key for ending Aids. Our recent approach will completely change the situation and help us to go for a generation free of Aids,” Sidibé added.
“Based on this trend, StarTimes launched its video streaming service in the African market with the StarTimes app in June. Within three months, the app had eight million downloads and the figure is expected to be 15 million at the end of this year,” said Ziqi.
“The StarTimes app right now is streaming the Zero Discrimination public service announcement as a trial cooperation with UNAIDS through the online video platform.”