Pusha Love is a campaign that is working to create a movement that celebrates healthy living as a means to achieve individual dreams and is designed to change the way people think about health, relationships, and what it means to love. Through various channels - including a radio magazine, radio drama, community dialogues, and youth clubs - the campaign promotes healthy lifestyle choices, creates space for dialogue, challenges accepted norms, and motivates people to adopt new behaviours. Pusha Love is part of the Letlama (Lesotho Together Against HIV and AIDS Partnership) Project, which is working to reduce HIV infection among people aged 15 to 35. Launched in 2011, this five-year project is led by Population Services International (PSI) with support from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It is implemented in partnership with the Lesotho Ministry of Health and various implementing partners, including Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs, Kick4Life, the Lesotho Network of HIV/AIDS Service Organisations (LENASO), and Phela Health and Development Communications.

Communication Strategies: 

Pusha Love is positioned as a social movement led by community members and uses real people to communicate how healthy choices contribute to individual and community success. At each stage of the mass media component of the campaign, Pusha Love will showcase individuals who reflect key themes and act "positive deviants" for the target audience. In this way, Pusha Love hopes to show that role models exist in every community. In its current phase, Pusha Love features the stories of four Ambassadors who encourage people to join the conversation about what people want in life: Kamohelo, a young man with aspirations of becoming a soccer star; Limakatso, a married mother of two children who studies part-time to improve her chances of better employment; Manaleli, a young woman who dreams of becoming a teacher; and Lehlohonolo, a married teacher with one child who is working to start up his own business. The next phase of Pusha Love’s mass media programme will feature four men who have recently undergone HIV testing and share their experience and how testing keeps them on-track to achieving success.

Pusha Love includes a radio magazine program called Pusha Love Blomas where listeners can hear peoples' stories and add their voice to the conversation. The programme also uses Pusha Love Listening Events to capture audience reactions through "man on the street" interviews for later broadcast on the programme. The campaign also produces the S’moko Feela! radio drama, which was launched in late 2012. S’moko Feela! is a 15-minute, serial radio drama, that is broadcast three days per week on two local radio stations, and uses character-driven storylines to communicate key messages about good health and living.

Mass media components of the campaign support several community-level interventions implemented by local partners. The Pusha Love Chomees programme reaches young people aged 18-24 to engage them in interactive group discussions around healthy living, staying HIV-free, and achieving one's ambitions in life. Pusha Love "Ha Re Bua..." is a dialogue tool, adapted from the African Transformations methodology, that engages communities in effective dialogues about the issues that put individuals and communities at-risk of poor health and HIV infection. And finally, the Pusha Love Corporate Wellness Solutions programme offers programmes to corporate partners and public agencies, reaching individuals in the workplace with comprehensive communication services to support good health and HIV prevention amongst employees.

In addition, people can discuss the issues raised and interact with the campaign through the Pusha Love Facebook page.

Development Issues: 

Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, HIV/AIDS

Key Points: 

Lesotho has the third highest HIV prevalence rate in the world, and all parts of the country, and people of both sexes, and all ages and socio-economic strata are affected. HIV is primarily spread through sexual contact, made worse due to gaps in knowledge about HIV and AIDS, high rates of multiple and concurrent partnerships, and low awareness of HIV status. The Letlama Lesotho Together Against HIV and AIDS Partnership Project seeks to address these issues by increasing the adoption of protective behaviours and supporting healthy social norms among adults and youth in Lesotho to reduce HIV incidence.

Pusha Love Health Campaign
Partner Text: 

Lesotho Ministry of Health, Population Services International (PSI), President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Johns Hopkins University Center for Communications Programs, Kick4Life, the Lesotho Network of HIV/AIDS Service Organisations (LENASO), Phela Health and Development Communications


JHUCCP website and USAID website, and email from Brian Pedersen, PSI/Lesotho on May 8 2013.