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A Little More Shuga, Please March 22, 2012

Posted by ToYourHealth in Global Health.
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HIV/AIDS Kenya Shuga Family Planning

HIV prevalence by African country

One of the most effective public health education tools to combat HIV/AIDS in Kenya is back. Last month, the popular TV program Shuga began airing it’s second season.

Three episodes were funded for the first season through MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation and other funding partners, but demand has landed six new episodes this season. PATH joined with other sponsors PEPFAR and UNICEF to bring this meaningful tool to Nairobi. And since it’s rights-cleared, it will air on all five major broadcast companies throughout Kenya.

In addition to teaching safe sex and HIV transmission methods, this season of Shuga: Love, Sex and Money addresses alcohol use, transactional sex, rape and homosexuality. This was an important part of their sexual behavior communication plan, as it is still illegal to be gay in Africa.

What makes the show so popular?

It’s steamy hot, which, for all intents and purposes, is unchartered programming territory for the 16-24 year old Kenyan target group. It’s sexy, fun, and relatable.

What makes the show so successful?

It’s changing behaviors and saving lives. Read here about reaching young adults who had little to no access to TV or internet in 2009. Between 60% and 80% of all viewers were more receptive to this teaching tool for behavior change. About the new season, from The Saturday Post Zambia,

The documentary addresses social and economic factors that contribute to the high HIV prevalence and new infection rates, particularly among young people, in Sub-Saharan Africa and the world. The film resonates with young people. The main [goal] is to increase knowledge and start a debate about HIV among young people so that they don’t get infected. It aims to encourage behaviour change to prevent new infections.

The secondary phase is to remind people that HIV is not a death sentence. People can live positively with HIV. The campaign is an explosive drama shot and produced in Kenya that challenges young people to ignite a movement to change their sexual behaviour and turn their norms to stop the spread of the killer disease specifically in Kenya, Trinidad, Ukraine and Zambia.

Take a look at the Season 2 trailer:

Shuga: Love, Sex, Money Still To Come… from mtv staying alive on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Sesame Square, Kami and Shuga Battle HIV

MTV Shuga

MTV Staying Alive Foundation

PATH: A Catalyst for Global Health

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