Brothers For Life goes international

Do the right thing and be a Brother For Life is now a well known call to action to men not only in South Africa but now also in Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia. This is the tag line of the now well known Brothers For Life campaign that has reached millions of people in South Africa with messages on the prevention of HIV since its inception in August 2009.

This campaign which targets mainly men aged 30 and over seeks to address the risks associated with having multiple and concurrent partnerships, sex and alcohol, gender-based violence and promotes HIV testing, Male involvement in PMTCT and health seeking behaviours in general.

In South Africa, the campaign is a collaborative effort led by South African National AIDS Council, the Department of Health, USAID/PEPFAR, Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa (JHHESA), Sonke Gender Justice, UNICEF, and the United Nations System in South Africa.

Since its launch, the Brothers For Life has become a household name reaching over 350 000 men in South Africa through interpersonal communication activities spearheaded by HIV communication NGO, JHHESA and its community partners.

The campaign has recently been endorsed as best practice model by the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi due to its success in engaging men through mass media, advocacy and interpersonal communication initiatives.

In Zimbabwe the first leg of the campaign will use key sports ambassadors including the national soccer team’s coach Norman Mapeza while the Tanzanians will channel their resources in promoting male involvement in pregnancy as part of the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission programme.

In all three countries the campaign is supported by their respective Aids Councils which bodes well for the sustainability of the campaign. “Our wish has always been to influence positively as many men from all walks of life as possible and the growth of the campaign into other Sub Saharan countries fulfilled this wish as our region is the hardest hit by the Aids epidemic” says Mandla Ndlovu, Project Manager of the campaign in South Africa.