In Mozambique, 3 out of 5 people with HIV do not know they are HIV+. Lack of knowledge about ARVs and stigma are prevalent, creating fear. Adherence to treatment is low, increasing risk of HIV transmission. To Know is to Live project will teach 4,000 university students and educators how ARVs work, giving a long and healthy life. Fear is reduced. They are empowered to make positive choices, know their HIV status and reduce the risk of passing HIV on to another person if they adhere to ARVs.
No-one in Mozambique need die of AIDS. ARVs are now available immediately after testing throughout the country, free of charge. However, the HIV rate is rising. Youth are a key risk group. Transmission of HIV is high due to lack of knowledge about the benefits of treatment and people not knowing their HIV status. This and stigma are the strongest factors stopping them getting tested and making positive choices to, either start and adhere to treatment, or remain HIV free.
We engage with students and educators through interactive events using role models, music artists and HIV advocates to talk openly with students about HIV, ARVs and positive behaviours. This is powerful, reducing stigma and fear. Facebook is used to sustain the education and engagement with students and their networks. The interactive activity teaches how ARVs work in the body and the benefits for the user and their partner, leading to more people adhering to ARVs and less transmission of HIV.
We will empower 4,000 University students and educators with clear information on HIV and ARVs and answer their questions over short and long term. This reduces fear and stigma, reduces transmission and AIDS deaths. More youth will go for voluntary testing to know their HIV status, making positive choices to start and adhere to treatment or remain HIV free. These student will be powerful partners in efforts to reduce stigma and pass on ARV information to others, creating an HIV free generation.