The two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Beijing, China on May 12, 2017.
The cooperation deal between United Nations AIDS, UNAIDS and StarTimes Group, a Chinese media firm on enhancing HIV/AIDS awareness in Africa, was rolled out in several countries before the 30th World AIDS Day on December 1, 2017. In Uganda, Zambia and Ghana, StarTimes branch companies and UNAIDS local offices signed detailed agreements to raise awareness on HIV prevention among adolescents and young people, with men as special target.
South Africa, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, Rwanda and Cameroon, are expected to sign similar agreements soon. Meanwhile, StarTimes and the Ghana AIDS Commission are discussing a roadmap for delivering HIV/AIDS television and social media content on StarTimes network and partner TV stations during coverage of Ghana football matches.
In Zambia, TopStar (a joint venture by StarTimes and the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, ZNBC) and UNAIDS are working together to engage First Lady Esther Lungu to talk about HIV prevention to the people. She has already recorded a short Public Service Advertising on AIDS to be broadcast on 15 TV stations across the country through TopStar’s digital TV network.
During the 2017 World AIDS Day, StarTimes Uganda Company and UNAIDS sent a team of experts and doctors to test and counsel in Kasese Town where local people have suffered natural disasters, tribal conflicts and civil wars in the last two decades. It was part of the Kasese Peace Festival, a three-day event meant to bring back hope to the town’s people.
According to a report released on December 1, 2017 by UNAIDS, men and boys living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa are 20 per cent less likely than women and girls in the same situation to know their status; and 27 per cent less likely to access treatment. In Western and Central Africa, only 25 per cent of men living with HIV access treatment, the report said. When people are not on treatment, they are more likely to transmit HIV, UNAIDS warned.
On May 12, 2017, UNAIDS and StarTimes entered a deal in the Chinese capital, Beijing, to help “reduce the impact of HIV across Africa by disseminating messages to the general public to increase awareness and reduce stigma and discrimination against people living with the virus and populations affected by it.”