The Children's Radio Foundation trains young people to produce radio shows on issues facing youth, with 1300 youth reporters reaching 7 million listeners at 72 radio stations across Africa. This initiative will get 280 youth reporters in South Africa broadcasting shows about HIV and sexual and reproductive health at 18 radio stations, sharing vital information and personal stories with youth in their communities in order to reduce HIV infections and make well-informed decisions.
Over a third of new HIV infections globally occur among the 15-24 age group. While health services, including anti-retroviral therapy, are widely available in South Africa, it has proven difficult to get adolescents to access the care they need. Baseline research shows that HIV-related stigma, a lack of youth-friendly clinics, and an absence of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information prevent young people from obtaining testing and treatment.
In South Africa, Children's Radio Foundation is launching a campaign on sexual and reproductive health and rights to increase access to youth-friendly HIV information and health services. Our 280 young journalists will host live interactive radio broadcasts at 18 community radio stations, 2 health clinics, school-based radio projects, and local outreach events. We provide specialized topic training on HIV prevention, access to testing and treatment, and retention in care to our youth reporters.
Our goal is to lower HIV infection rates among South African youth and ensure accessibility to youth-friendly health services. The campaign will reach up to 1.6 million listeners. Through our training, 280 reporters will gain specialized radio production skills, and host 30 radio broadcasts and 20 outreach events in schools, clinics and public spaces. Young people will empower each other through radio to make well-informed decisions for living healthy, fulfilling lives.