Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Go-ahead for HIV computer game

Published: Wednesday, 1-Jun-2005

A ground breaking computer game developed by a University of Salford lecturer to help educate young South Africans about the dangers of HIV and AIDS will be piloted in July.

Nursing lecturer Barbara Hastings-Asatourian has worked with software company Sherston-Sheshani to develop the game, Play-it-Safe, which aims to engage young people in discussion about HIV and AIDS by approaching the subject in an accessible and unconventional way.

Following recent successful meetings with Peter Fenton from South Africa's Western Cape Education Department, the game is to be piloted in schools in the province of South Africa, before being rolled out across the rest of the country.

Barbara began working with Sherston-Sheshani, who specialise in producing educational computer software in South Africa, after they were impressed by her contraception education tool, Contraception: the Computer Game, and thought the idea could be developed for HIV and AIDS education.

Barbara is enthusistic about the response she's had to the game in South Africa. She said: "I'm very excited about this project.

"The pilot will give us the chance to identify any changes that need to be made before the game is rolled out to the rest of the country. Ultimately, if it's successful there, we would like to see it used all over Africa and in other parts of the world."

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