UNAIDS and StarTimes explore collaboration on increasing HIV/AIDS
awareness among African young people with mobile online video application as First
Lady of the Republic of Malawi Gertrude Mutharika, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel
Sidibé and StarTimes Group Vice President Guo Ziqi held a meeting with the
theme of “Value of new media in African HIV/AIDS Prevention Campaign” in
Beijing on Monday.
Now new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths are more likely to occur
among young people in Africa because HIV/AIDS prevention information and
knowledge don’t reach out to young people efficiently. It has been an urgent
issue for global HIV/AIDS Prevention Campaign to engage more young people in
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 knowledge, so they don’t protect
themselves…So, information, knowledge and education, and that’s why StarTimes
is very important for us.”
He continued: “I just want to say sharing information, bringing
knowledge and making sure that we can change young people will be key for
Sidibé noted that for most African countries, 70 percent of
the population are 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, US and China, more and more African young people, get used to watching stream videos on phones.
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.
Malawian First Lady and former president of the
Organisation of African First Ladies Against AIDS, Gertrude Mutharika 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 are for using 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.”
“I found that the launch of
StarTimes App for HIV prevention is very timely and appropriate. This will
greatly enhance our national efforts to reduce HIV infection, particularly on
young people. I looking forward to working closely with StarTimes and UNAIDS in
Malawi,” she remarked.
During the meeting, Guo introduced
the China-Africa Cooperation project, “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000
African Villages”, which would be undertaken by StarTimes, and proposed to
explore possible ways to help popularize HIV/AIDS prevention information and
knowledge in African rural areas with the platform.
The project of “Access to Satellite
TV for 10,000 African Villages” was first announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Johannesburg Summit of the
Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2015. Chinese government will aid each of
10,112 African villages with two StarTimes Projector TVs, one 32 inch Digital
TV set and 20 DTH decoders and satellite dishes.
UNAIDS and StarTimes formally established partnership on
12th May, 2017 with signing a MOU in Beijing “to reduce the impact of HIV
across Africa by disseminating messages to the general public to increase
awareness of HIV and UNAIDS’ work and reduce stigma and discrimination of
people living with HIV and populations affected by HIV”.
After the establishment of partnership,
StarTimes and UNAIDS are boosting their cooperation in different African
countries, aiming to mobilizing all available resources to enhance the
awareness of HIV/AIDS in the continent.
In the past two years, StarTimes has broadcasted several
UNAIDS PSAs to more than 10 million households with its FTA channel, Guide
Guo said: “With more broadcasting
platforms and a bigger and diversified subscriber base and richer content, we
will be able to make the best of all our resources to help end the AIDS
epidemic by 2030.”