Feature story

Gaming for HIV prevention: a public-private partnership in Gabon

03 December 2012

Young people from Gabon playing the interactive board game “Vie2Jeune”.
Credit: Aiducators4life

According to the Ministry of Health of Gabon, only 1 out of 2 young Gabonese aged 15-24 have a comprehensive knowledge on HIV in a country where the prevalence rate among youth aged 15-24 is about  4.8%, and 15% of youth have sexual relationships before the age of 15.

In an effort to revolutionise HIV prevention in Gabon, Shell Gabon in co-operation with the non-governmental organization Aiducators4life, the government and UNICEF launched an innovative tool aimed at stimulating discussions on HIV among youth (13+) in the country.

“Shell is truly committed to slow the spread of HIV in this country,” said the Director General of Shell Gabon, Adrian Drewett who officially launched the board game on the 3rd of December at Lycee Paul Indjendjet Gondjout in Libreville.

The new tool consists of an interactive board game called “Vie2Jeune”. Aligned with Gabonese culture and customs, the game provides relevant information for young people on topics like safe sex, sexually transmitted infections, facts about HIV, teenage pregnancies and discrimination against people living with HIV. There are about 60 information cards and 60 question cards that are used while playing the game.

This is a very direct and very ‘fun’ approach to learning about HIV

UNAIDS coordinator in Gabon, Ms Inge Tack

This board game was successfully launched in Zambia in 2009. The new French version was developed by Aiducators4life in cooperation with a French biology teacher and a French language teacher. The game is approved by medical experts and it has been tested extensively in schools in both Libreville and Gamba.

The entertaining format of the game makes it easily acceptable in many cultures and people groups especially where readership is low. “This is a very direct and very ‘fun’ approach to learning about HIV,” said UNAIDS coordinator in Gabon, Ms Inge Tack. “We noticed during the tests that this approach was very effective and also different to the current methods used in schools.”

Shell Gabon will finance 1000 games for secondary schools in Gamba and Libreville. The final objective is to provide all Gabonese secondary schools with the game which has just been approved for educational purpose by the Gabonese Ministry of Education. The distribution of the game will start in January 2013.