Video Game Teaches HIV/AIDS Prevention

HOPE worldwide Kenya's Center of HOPE Mukuru is packed with 35-50 teenagers everyday. They're not there for lectures or classes - they come for a video game.
"Pamoja Mtaani", Swahili for "Together in the Hood," is a video game developed by Warner Bros Entertainment in partnership with the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) that puts players in real situations where they have to make decisions to avoid HIV infection.

Players can be one of five characters and find themselves car-jacked. The goal of the game is to recover their stolen possessions and save an injured person. As they go along, different sub-plots make them choose whether or not they are going to take part in risky behaviors that cause HIV infection. Characters in the game even speak "Sheng" - a mix of Swahili and English used by many young people in Kenya.

HOPE worldwide has already seen this game teaching young people in Kenya how to prevent HIV. Job Akuno, technical adviser for comprehensive prevention programs, says that the teens have really embraced, proving the need for more creative ways of reaching out to them.


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