Scanned by: GavinChuaover 5 years ago
A new program called Project Masiluleke -- Zulu for "wise council" -- is using the 120 characters commonly left over in cell phone text messages to connect South Africans who desperately need testing and treatment with the nation's HIV/AIDS resources. PCM messages, as they're known, are enormously popular. South Africans send an amazing 30 million of them a day, which is about one daily ping for every one and a half citizens. Calls to the national hotline in Johannesburg jumped a remarkable 350 percent.
HIV and AIDS carry a nearly debilitating social stigma in South Africa, with even government officials at the highest level of government in Pretoria holding on to some warped views of the disease. Project Masiluleke grew out of the Pop!Tech conference held each year in Camden, Maine.