Project_Masiluleke_Brief - Project Masiluleke A...

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Project Masiluleke A Breakthrough Initiative to Combat HIV/AIDS Utilizing Mobile Technology & HIV Self-Testing in South Africa A signature program of the PopTech Accelerator, Project Masiluleke is a breakthrough cross- sector collaboration that employs mobile technology and introduces an HIV self-test as high- impact, low-cost tools in the fight against HIV/AIDS and TB in South Africa. A facilitator of cross- sector, multi-disciplinary collaboration, the PopTech Accelerator pioneers vanguard solutions to pressing global challenges. Project Masiluleke exemplifies this approach by bringing together best-in-class organizations and leaders from the fields of public health, mobile technology, design innovation, arts/entertainment and philanthropy. These partners have introduced and are advancing an entirely new approach to the management of HIV/AIDS in South Africa and other regions of the world facing high rates of HIV infection. The Challenge Project Masiluleke (which means “give wise counsel” and “lend a helping hand” in Zulu) was born out of the desire to address the challenges that result in avoidance of HIV testing, delayed initiation of life-saving treatment and high rates of treatment default, all of which contribute needlessly to high mortality rates from HIV/AIDS. Harnessing the ubiquity of mobile devices in many parts of the developing world, this project has the potential to catalyze transformative social change. South Africa has more HIV positive citizens than any country in the world. In some provinces more than 40% of the population is infected. Ineffectual public communications campaigns and the social stigma associated with HIV/AIDS keep many from pursuing testing or treatment. Despite widespread availability of HIV testing at all government clinics and free anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment, less than 25% have tested and know their status. Only about 10% of those with AIDS who qualify for ARVs are currently receiving these lifesaving drugs. The majority of HIV-infected patients in South Africa seek care only after they become symptomatic with end-stage AIDS, at a time when they require the greatest resources and have the least likelihood of survival. Of those who start ARV therapy in Africa, only 60% remain on these lifesaving drugs after two years. Cost-effective interventions that promote adherence are desperately needed.
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The Mobile Opportunity Unlike other mobile health initiatives, which primarily provide tools to healthcare workers, Project Masiluleke proposes solutions that interact directly with the end-users – those impacted by HIV/AIDS. In this context, mobile phones hold tremendous untapped promise as a tool for public engagement around HIV. Because nearly 100% of South Africa’s population (including the young and the poor) has access to these devices, mobile phones can be cost- effectively used to: close the healthcare “information gap” by delivering geographically and culturally appropriate messages that encourage people to learn their HIV status earlier;
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Project_Masiluleke_Brief - Project Masiluleke A...

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