Brothers for Life Goes International

Published: June 16, 2011, 12:00 am

“Do the right thing,” the well known tagline for the Brothers For Life campaign in South Africa, is now a call-to-action across Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The Brothers For Life campaign targets men ages 30 and older with HIV prevention messages. In particular, the campaign focuses on the risks associated with having multiple and concurrent partnerships and mixing alcohol with sex, preventing gender-based violence, including men in PMTCT (prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV) and promoting HIV testing and health-seeking behaviors.

Brothers For Life was launched in South Africa in August 2009 through the collaborative efforts of Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa (JHHESA), the South African National AIDS Council, the Department of Health, Sonke Gender Justice, UNICEF, the UN system in South Africa and USAID/PEPFAR.

Since its launch, the campaign has reached over 350,000 men in South Africa through interpersonal communication activities spearheaded by JHHESA and its community partners. It was endorsed as a model for best practices by Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health in South Africa, because of its success in engaging men through mass media, advocacy and interpersonal communication initiatives.

Modeling the campaign after the very successful approach taken in South Africa, in Zimbabwe, the initiative will kick off with the use of key sports ambassadors including the national soccer team’s coach.

In all three countries, the campaigns are supported by their respective AIDS Councils, boding well for the long-term sustainability of these efforts.

“Our wish has always been to influence positively as many men from all walks of life as possible,” explains Mandla Ndlovu, Project Manager for the Brothers For Life campaign in South Africa. “The growth of the campaign into other sub-Saharan countries has fulfilled this wish as our region is the hardest hit in in the world by the AIDS epidemic.”

Learn more about the Brothers For Life campaign.