Preventing HIV Educating with Popular Music

Challenge

Zambia remains one of the top 10 countries in the world where HIV/AIDS persists, with approximately 60,000 new HIV infections and 21,000 AIDS-related deaths each year. While more than 90% of Zambians have heard of HIV, many of them don’t understand the virus, including how it’s spread—making education an urgent need.

Where We Started

With support from Boston Children’s Aerosmith Endowment for the Prevention and Treatment of HIV, Global Health Program Manager Katy Weinberg, MBA, MPH, partnered with Zambian public health officials and over 100 teens to better understand what worries teens about their HIV risk. Universally, Zambian youth were concerned with the high rate of sex in exchange for items such as phone time and clothes, etc. Armed with this information, Katy brought together Boston Children’s Center on Media and Child Health and well-known local pop-artist Ephraim “Son of Africa” Mutalange to create a song and music video with targeted messages about HIV and how youths can protect themselves.

Our Impact

The song and video “Worth More” was launched in August 2018 through pop-up concerts across Zambia, as well as through CD giveaways, a social media campaign, and radio interviews on top radio stations. In a post-release survey, youth successfully understood the song’s message—“You are worth more than material things.” The song also received positive feedback across Facebook, YouTube and radio.

You Can Make a Difference

With your support, we can continue to educate communities worldwide on a variety of critical health topics through the use of innovative, culturally relevant modalities with a particular focus on music and social media with youth engagement.