Videos: Word on the Street – African Women Share Their Reproductive Health Stories


CAMI Health


A woman from South Africa in the forground with a street scene in the background

These videos from CAMI Health, in collaboration with Wits RHI and FHI360, feature young women and key influencers in their communities—male partners, grandmothers, and technical experts in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Uganda—talking about women's sexual and reproductive health experiences.

49 interviews with adolescent girls and young women, key influencers (grandmothers and male partners), and technical experts in South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe

2X In sub-Saharan Africa, women aged 15-49 are nearly twice as likely to be living with HIV as men of the same age

55% In sub-Saharan Africa, only 55% of the need for family planning is being met with modern methods

50% Nearly 50% of individuals are infected with herpes in South Africa

PHI’s CAMI Health program promotes research and development of Multipurpose Prevention Technologies (MPTs), innovative products that can simultaneously prevent HIV, other STIs, and/or unintended pregnancy. Young women in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are disproportionately impacted by HIV, other sexually transmitted infections, and unintended pregnancy and are among the most underserved populations for sexual and reproductive health in the world. 

However, data alone tells an incomplete story. In 2021, CAMI Health, in collaboration with Wits RHI and FHI360, asked young women and key influencers in their communities (male partners, grandmothers and technical experts) in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Uganda about their sexual and reproductive health experiences. Their first-hand stories provide glimpses into the diversity of their needs and desires and offer insights into solutions for improving their lives. Serving as an advocacy tool for female-initiated HIV prevention and family planning options, this StoryMap aims to foster the adoption of MPTs as potential game-changers in addressing these issues.

See quotes from the videos and a few videos from the StoryMap below. You can also find background on the project on the CAMI Health Initiative for MPTs (IMPT) website or go directly to the StoryMap site for a deeper look.

We need to really look at concrete solutions and invest in the long term. What we want is communities where HIV prevention, pregnancy prevention, and STI prevention are normalized and supported for everyone who needs them.

Professor Saiqua Mullick, MBCH, MSc, MPH, PhD, Wits Reproductive Health Institute, South Africa

Women have several personal challenges. Some are afraid to come to clinics because they’re afraid of their partners. Others fear stigma, they fear they’re going to be judged.

A nurse in South Africa

MPTs would really be a game changer for women, it would make HIV prevention possible within our generation.

Dr. Carolyn Akello, MBChB, MSc, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

I can’t afford to get pregnant right now. In terms of school, it changes your life completely, you have to put your future on hold.

A young woman in South Africa

We experience many challenges with adolescents because they will not tell you if they are pregnant or have HIV. You only find out there is something wrong when they get sick and you have to take them to the clinic.

A grandmother in South Africa

An MPT would help women like me, I’m busy, I’m impatient, so if I can get everything under one roof then I’d be happy. I think this will resonate with many women like me.

Dr. Nyaradzo Mgodi, MBCHB, MMed, University of Zimbabwe Clinical Trials Research Center

Word on the Street was made possible with the generous support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, through USAID, under Envision FP‘s PROMISE Collaboration.

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