On World AIDS Day (1st December), HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) will launch the first issue of a new health and lifestyle magazine for African communities living in the UK.
The glossy magazine is called MAMBO (a Swahili word meaning ‘current affairs’), and aims to provide readers with news and features on how to live a healthy lifestyle without putting their health, and in particular their sexual health, at risk. Cover girl for the first issue is Primrose Mutsigiri, a former Miss Africa UK and the recently-crowned Miss Malaika UK, who gives her views on how important it is for those within African communities to be aware of HIV and how to maintain good sexual health.
Other stories in this issue include: a young person’s views on how to deal with peer pressure; a woman’s story of life in a violent relationship; a Londoner’s experience of living with a long-term health condition; and advice on regular sexual health check-ups. MAMBO also features a round-up of relevant news and developments from the African continent, recipes and competitions.
World AIDS Day, which has been running every December since 1988, is a day of remembrance for those who have died and celebration for those living with HIV today. African communities within the UK have been identified as a group at high risk of HIV; in 2007, there were 2,691 new HIV diagnoses among these communities, representing around 35% of all new diagnoses in the UK that year.
Joseph Ochieng, Editor of MAMBO, said “HIV is currently the UK’s fastest growing serious health condition, so it is vitally important that information on good sexual health is available to African communities, a key at risk group. What better time could there be to launch the first edition of MAMBO than World AIDS Day. I hope that people from many different backgrounds will be encouraged to pick up the magazine, and to discuss with each other the issues within it.”
The launch of Mambo is just one aspect of THT’s ongoing work with African organisations. This year also saw the introduction of a programme which is currently delivering free support to African community groups working in London, including:
• Organisational needs assessments.
• Group training in areas such as Finance, Fundraising, and Strategy and Planning.
• One-to-one professional mentoring for organisation managers.
• Consulting support.
MAMBO magazine is funded by the Pan-London HIV Prevention Programme, and will be distributed through a range of participating African organisations. For more information on where to pick up a copy, please contact THT Direct on 0845 1221 200. The second issue will be available by March 2009.
For more information on THT’s other work with African communities, organisations should get in touch with Sam Cunningham at THT on 0207 812 1693.