A brand new report, carried out by the London College of Hygiene & Tropical Drugs, signifies that, after watching the episodes, younger folks have been twice as prone to get examined for HIV.
They have been additionally twice as prone to know their standing and to pay attention to oral pre-exposure prophylaxis, generally known as PrEP, a drug taken by HIV-negative folks earlier than intercourse, that reduces the danger of getting HIV.
International marketing campaign
The Down South sequence is a part of the multimedia marketing campaign MTV Shuga, a long-running initiative that follows the lives of younger folks on the African continent.
Beginning in Kenya in 2009 as a TV present, the marketing campaign has now expanded to function radio dramas, social media engagement throughout and after exhibits, graphic novels and peer training programmes.
Globally, the initiative has reached younger folks in 72 international locations, broadcasting to an estimated 720 million properties.
The Down South sequence analysed within the examine contains two seasons and was broadcasted in South Africa in 2017 and 2019.
It was funded by Unitaid, a worldwide well being initiative that companions with the United Nations, and produced by the MTV Staying Alive Basis.
For Hervé Verhoosel, spokesperson for Unitaid, the outcomes “are incredible information and additional proof that edutainment is driving actual influence in familiarizing younger folks with totally different instruments for HIV prevention, together with self-tests and PrEP.”
The necessity for dependable data and providers is significant for younger folks all over the place, however extra acute in international locations with excessive HIV prevalence, comparable to South Africa, the place 7.8 million individuals are residing with the virus.
In response to WHO, round 19% of individuals residing with HIV in Africa have no idea their standing.
For Mr. Verhoosel, a marketing campaign like this “is offering invaluable help in selling HIV self-testing and prevention” within the continent.
The examine discovered that the results elevated with larger publicity to the sequence, have been equally excessive for women and men, and stronger amongst adolescents (15-19-year olds) than adults aged 20-24 years.
Among the many 3,414 on-line survey contributors, data of HIV standing was greater amongst these uncovered to the second season, about 58%, in comparison with the 35% who weren’t.
Watching the second season can be related to elevated consciousness of HIV self-testing, going from 28 per cent to 60 per cent, and elevated use of HIV self-testing, rising from 10 per cent to 29 per cent.
Through the pandemic, the present tailored its new content material to give attention to COVID-19 by the Alone Collectively sequence, additionally a part of the MTV Shuga steady of exhibits.
Aired on MTV channels around the globe, the content material can be supplied rights-free to third get together broadcasters and platforms, and utilized by educators, healthcare staff and grassroots HIV/AIDS organisations around the globe.
Over 4 sequence, the drama has crossed the continent from Kenya to Nigeria and touched on quite a few plotlines regarding HIV and secure intercourse together with HIV testing, stigma, residing with HIV, mom to youngster transmission, transactional intercourse, gender-based violence, and condom use.