HIV and AIDS continue to be a public health problem, and this is particularly true in sub-Saharan Africa. Concurrently, there has been an explosion in technology use. Taking advantage of this increased access, we developed and tested an online, evidence-based HIV prevention program designed for adolescents in Uganda called CyberSenga. In Uganda, the Senga is the father’s sister typically responsible for offering female children advice and guidance—including sexual health advice—to youth as they transition from childhood to adulthood. The Kojja is the male equivalent.
We adopted the Senga and Kojja concepts to present a culturally salient, trustworthy role model for the youth to follow throughout the intervention. The CyberSenga program provides information about HIV, shows young people useful ways to solve problems and communicate with others about their needs, and shows young people how to use condoms properly.
The website was developed and tested in partnership with colleagues at Mbarara University Science and Technology, Harvard University, and the University of Colorado.