Sony Corporation and the Global Fund have entered into a partnership for the implementation of behaviour change projects, in which Sony provides state of the art equipment and movies, and the Global Fund ensures that they are provided to agencies best able to reach communities most in need.
In November, the partnership completed a pilot project in Tanzania with the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF). Sony donated equipment to AMREF that included a 150-inch screen (about 3.8 metres) together with a projector and sound system that are customised for easy transport and tough outdoor conditions. AMREF then organised public viewings in low-income areas such as Temeke in Dar es Salaam, as well as smaller cities like Tanga, Moshi and Arusha, where the HIV prevalence rate is high.
The project aims to attract young people who are at high risk of HIV infection by using the donated equipment to screen a mix of public health information and entertainment programmes, including movies provided by Sony Pictures Entertainment. Around the same time, voluntary HIV testing and counselling are offered at the public viewing venues. During the events, 2,482 people were tested for HIV.
Sony staff trained AMREF personnel on how to use the equipment for future prevention and education initiatives. Sony said that similar projects would be conducted in other countries and regions.
The Global Fund said that there are one million people living with HIV in Tanzania, out of which 450,000 need antiretroviral treatment (ART). At present, 250,000 of them have access to ART.
Information for this article was taken from a Global Fund press release.