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Multilingual chatbot to promote HIV/AIDS education

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 15 May 2024
#ForeverWena's WhatsApp chatbot can be accessed by texting ‘hi’ to 084 952 6152.
#ForeverWena's WhatsApp chatbot can be accessed by texting ‘hi’ to 084 952 6152.

Sexual health information hub #ForeverWena has introduced a WhatsApp chatbot to provide HIV/AIDS education to young people.

In a statement, #ForeverWena says the chatbot aims to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and education, dispel myths, and disseminate vital information and support services, in an effort to help youth learn how to make the right sexual health choices.

Cherylann Sawyer, managing partner at Ogilvy One, #ForeverWena's campaign partner, says technology holds immense potential to transform the landscape of HIV/AIDS education and support.

"By harnessing the power of messaging platforms like WhatsApp, we aim to empower youth with the knowledge, resources and support they need to make informed decisions and lead healthier lives."

According to Statista, WhatsApp outpaces other communication apps, such as Signal and Telegram, reaching more than 23 million users in South Africa.

#ForeverWena joins other entities, such as the national Department of Health, that use the popular messaging app as a tool to help young people tackle the complex questions about sexual health.

According to the statement, key features of the WhatsApp chatbot include expert guidance, health reminders, as well as curated content, addressing some of the most asked questions and concerns surrounding HIV/AIDS.

“Users can interact with the chatbot to ask questions and receive vetted responses from healthcare professionals, ensuring accurate and reliable information on HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and support services,” it reads.

Sawyer adds: “We recognise our country's diverse linguistic landscape and made the chatbot available in isiZulu, Sesotho and English, to ensure inclusivity and accessibility for users to engage in their preferred language.”

People can access the #ForeverWena WhatsApp chatbot by texting ‘hi’ to 084 952 6152 and selecting their preferred language.

The chatbot can also be accessed via WhatsApp Web by clicking on the ‘Let’s chat options’ button available on the homepage.