Of the 400,000 new HIV infections per year in South Africa, roughly half are young women aged 15-25 – they are four times more likely to become infected than young men of the same age. Many young women are still not properly informed of the risks of sexually-transmitted diseases. In one study, only a third of all respondents indicated that they use a condom during sex. Almost exactly the same amount knew of the risk of HIV infection.
Because awareness programs have so far been unsuccessful, the South African health organisation HIVSA, together with the GIZ and the Charlize Theron Outreach Project, has developed Choma, to help young girls with questions about boys, sex, and relationships, as well as fashion, lifestyle, and friendship.
Chroma encompasses a whole range of interactive online formats, such as an online game that can be downloaded from the App Store (read how it works in this blog post). There is also the online magazine Chroma Mag, where, alongside numerous interesting articles, two moderators are available round the clock to answers girls' questions. Once a week, Dr. Sindi provides health and wellbeing tips on her blog. Alongside the many online services, Chroma also tries to get involved offline, offering workshops at schools and universities that particularly engaged “Chomas” can help shape and organise.
We discovered this case through our Lab Around the World research trip.