Interactive multimedia tools for youth to help combat HIV and AIDS
In order to respond to the HIV and AIDS pandemic, UNESCO, in collaboration with its partners, is developing a series of interactive multimedia tools, conceived as educational computer games. Aiming to facilitate access to HIV-preventive information for youth, these tools combine education, information and entertainment. They provide scientifically accurate, culturally appropriate and gender specific knowledge on HIV and AIDS.
UNESCO expects that information and communication technologies (ICT) are the most cost-effective way to create, disseminate, provide access to information and knowledge on HIV and AIDS, and to actively engage young people.
The scientific content for the games, targeting 15-24-year olds, is developed in cooperation with the Heidelberg University Hospital (Germany). It focuses on HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment and cure, with particular attention to HIV virus life cycle, challenges for the development of new treatment and antiviral resistance.
Dr Barbara Mueller, from the Department of Virology of the Heidelberg University Hospital, believes that "such interactive multimedia tools could be used both for teaching and learning purposes at schools and some also at universities".
Two storylines were already tested in Kiev (Ukraine), involving community groups of 15-21-year old young people, during the visualisation sessions organized by the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH). According to Ms Katya Gamazina, PATH Program Director in Ukraine, "these interactive multimedia tools can help both teachers and parents discuss with children sensitive issues, such as safe behavior for HIV and AIDS prevention".
Once developed, the computer games in English, Russian and Ukrainian will be freely accessible through the Internet to everybody interested in learning more on HIV and AIDS.
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