THE Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) collaborates with different partners to achieve its mission of improving access to quality healthcare in Zambia through innovative capacity development, exceptional implementation science and research, and impactful and sustainable public health programmes.
CIDRZ hosted Avert, an international HIV and AIDS charity based in Brighton, United Kingdom whose vision focuses on a world with no new HIV infections, and where those living with HIV and AIDS do so with equality and the support they need. The charity provides information and education on HIV and AIDS to an international audience and further empower people to protect themselves and others from infection, and provide support to those living with HIV.
Avert’s global programmes partners with organisations such as CIDRZ in countries most affected by HIV to strengthen community responses to the epidemic and make local treatment and prevention more effective through communication campaigns.
In sharing the work Avert does, Kate Harrison, Avert Head of Program Funding made a presentation on a co-creation project called Young Voices Africa during the CIDRZ weekly research meeting.
“ the Young Voices project started in October 2017 when a group of young people were brought together from across Southern Africa, including representatives from CIDRZ, for a week-long workshop in Johannesburg. The project has developed an interactive package of sexual and reproductive health information materials – created by, and for, young people between 15 and 24 years old in Southern Africa..
“It was important to create materials together with the people who view the materials. We worked together with a group of young people to identify the gaps and find out what works,” Kate emphasized.
She added, “discussions were centred around the information available to them on sex and HIV – what’s good, what’s bad, what’s missing, where they felt misunderstood, and how they wanted to talk about sex and relationships. A series of videos and comics, on the issues that they felt were most important to them and their friends were created and circulated on social media. The materials are about engaging young people to think through their own situations and those of their peers, giving them the knowledge and skills to make informed choices and take control of their own sexual health in a non-didactic and non-judgmental manner”.