LoveLife has brought together a broad based coalition of international foundations working in HIV/AIDS prevention, major South African media organizations and private corporations, the government of South Africa, and leading South African non-government organizations with one shared goal – to turn back the epidemic of HIV/AIDS, and related epidemics of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, among South Africa’s young people.
Launched in September 1999, loveLife seeks to substantially reduce the HIV infection rate among young South Africans – and to establish at the same time a new model for effective HIV prevention among young people.
loveLife’s approach integrates three key components:
1) Innovative nationwide media campaigns of unprecedented scale and intensity, including youth-focused television and radio programming, a monthly youth magazine and billboards that promote sexual responsibility and link young people to counselling and clinical services.
2) Face to face outreach through service and support programmes, including a network of youth centres that provide HIV prevention services, and accessible adolescent health services in public clinics nationwide. loveLife also works with over 130 community-based organisations know as loveLife franchise-holders.
3) Extensive monitoring and evaluation of the programme’s impact and results, with independent external oversight.
loveLife combines well-established public health approaches with innovative marketing techniques, reaching young people by:
- Speaking in language that young people relate to and understand
- Using a tone of optimism, rather than relying on scare tactics – which have little credibility with youth
- Harnessing the power and influence of South African’s youth culture, including television, music, and sports to promote healthy living