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U.S. Supports "Safe Love" HIV Prevention Campaign

Lusaka, June 28, 2011 - Kapiri Mposhi - The Ministry of Health, with support from the U.S. government, today launched a national HIV/AIDS prevention campaign called "Safe Love: Think. Talk. Act." The National HIV/AIDS Council designed and produced the campaign in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Communication Support for Health project, with funding from the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The "Safe Love" campaign will urge people to think more about what causes HIV, talk openly about HIV, and take action to protect themselves and others from HIV.

Speaking at the launch, USAID Deputy Mission Director Ryan Washburn highlighted the benefits of the campaign.

"Unprotected sex, multiple concurrent sexual partners, and mother to child transmission account for the majority of new HIV infections in Zambia. The USAID-supported "Safe Love" campaign will dispense accurate information and promote dialogue to prompt Zambians to change their behavior. When people work together for change, amazing things can happen. In this case, the HIV infection rate can decrease in Zambia."

"Safe Love" is a two-year campaign targeting men and women, ages 14-59 years, in both rural and urban areas. Designed to increase HIV awareness and promote behavior change to stop the spread of HIV, the campaign will disseminate messages through billboards, radio, television, and mobile texts. "Safe Love" will also use local leaders, dance, and drama to promote messages within communities.

Billboards depicting the "Safe Love" logo and messaging were unveiled today in Lusaka, Chisamba, Kabwe, and Kapiri Mposhi. The launch also included the "Safe Love" campaign theme song and music video that will air on television and radio stations across the country, and be available for download by mobile phone users.

Washburn emphasized the importance of behavior change. "The Safe Love campaign will impress upon people their individual power to change behavior and promote healthy behavior. The American people are glad to be a part of these public awareness efforts in Zambia's continued fight against HIV."

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SOURCE: Embassy of the United States Lusaka, Zambia


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