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30 November, 2017 – for immediate release
#KnowTheScore: football-themed HIV testing campaign targets young men in Africa this World AIDS Day
Non-press information about the campaign can be found in our campaigns section.
HIV is the leading killer of young men in sub-Saharan Africa, yet many men still do not test for HIV.
In a new football-themed animation for World AIDS Day, international HIV charity, Avert, challenges HIV fear and stigma – deeply rooted behaviours that ultimately stop young men from learning their status.
Testing for HIV is a vital step to get more people living with HIV diagnosed and onto life-saving treatment, known as antiretroviral treatment. But men living with HIV in the region are less likely to know their status, less likely to be on HIV treatment, and less likely to be virally suppressed – with HIV-related death rates considerably higher among men than women.
In the last year, just 47% of men in the region living with HIV had access to treatment compared to 60% of women – and those men who engaged in treatment often present late to care and have advanced disease. Over the same time period 190,000 men died from AIDS-related illnesses compared to 170,000 women.
Through the #KnowTheScore campaign, Avert encourages young men in sub-Saharan Africa to test for HIV by dispelling misconceptions about what it means to be living with HIV today and the benefits of knowing your status – whatever the result.
The animation’s storyline follows a young football-mad guy as he negotiates his own feelings about the effect an HIV-positive diagnosis would have on his life – namely his ability to play football, hang out with his friends and have a girlfriend. It shows that life doesn't have to change much as long as he is aware of his status and is accessing treatment.
Notes to editors:
Avert is a UK-based international organisation that has been working at the forefront of HIV education for the past 30 years. Through an award-winning educational website (avert.org) and partnerships with local civil society organisations working in some of the hardest hit countries, Avert reached 9 million people last year with information, tools and resources that empowered them with knowledge to take action on HIV.
About the campaign:
#KnowTheScore is a digital campaign targeting young people (aged 16-25) across sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria, promoted via social channels and Avert.org.
The campaign also includes:
- stories of testing for HIV from young men across sub-Saharan Africa;
- a new HIV testing fact sheet;
- a blog post on frequently asked questions about HIV;
- and a blog post from Avert CEO, Sarah Hand, on the impact of men testing for women's health.
About HIV and the issue:
Remarkable progress has been made since World AIDS Day became the first global health day 29 years ago. With improved treatment, people living with HIV can now hope to achieve the same health-quality and length of life as their HIV-negative peers – as long as they are diagnosed early and are accessing HIV treatment and support.
However, treatment only works if people have access to it and, in 2017, HIV continues to be the biggest killer among young men in sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, recent reports highlight that young men in sub-Saharan African countries remain stubbornly hard to engage in testing services and are being left behind in the push to achieve UNAIDS’ 90-90-90 targets to end AIDS by 2030.
- Across the continent, many men do not test for HIV, either because they are not well targeted by HIV services that are often better set-up for women, or because they are too scared to test because of a lack of knowledge about HIV.
Suggested social posts:
> Whether it's a positive or negative result, #HIV doesn't have to change your life and dreams. Get tested, get on treatment if necessary, and get back to living. #KnowTheScore ⚽ #WorldAIDSDay https://youtu.be/vfx_05GTE54
> Men in Africa are less likely to know their #HIV status, less likely to be on treatment & less likely to be virally suppressed. Help spread the #HIVtesting message this #WorldAIDSDay #KnowTheScore ⚽ @Avert_org https://youtu.be/vfx_05GTE54
> #KnowTheScore this #WorldAIDSDay and test for #HIV today https://youtu.be/vfx_05GTE54
> Take back control over your life and test for HIV today. Whatever the result – whether HIV-negative or positive and on treatment – you never have to stop being you. #KnowTheScore ⚽ this #WorldAIDSDay https://youtu.be/vfx_05GTE54
Photo credit: ©Kerstin Hacker/Avert. Images used on this site are for illustrative purposes only. They do not imply any health status or behaviour on the part of the people in the photo.