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Project Masiluleke: Texting for HIV/AIDS

PopTech is a social innovation network whose mission is to accelerate the positive impact of world changing people, projects and ideas. In 2006, PopTech and its partners launched Project Masiluleke, an initiative based on leveraging mobile technology, and texting specifically, to raise awareness, increase STD testing, and promote healthier sexual activity among South Africans.

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We know HIV/AIDS is huge problem, especially in Africa. In some parts of South Africa, for instance, PopTech estimates that 40% of the population is infected with HIV/AIDS. Interestingly, almost 100% of South Africans have access to cell phones, with texting being one of the primary forms of communication.

Together with a diverse set of partners (from health organizations to cell phone providers), Project Masulileke has sent out over 685 million texts to South Africans urging them to get tested for HIV and to seek treatment. These texts have prompted 1.5 million calls to the National AIDS Hotline (


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