Cell Survivor – online game launches for World AIDS Day 2014

Globally, the majority of new HIV infections are among young people, which is why engaging young people in the HIV response is critical to halting the epidemic.

With this in mind we developed Cell Survivor in conjunction with Developing Dreams to mark World AIDS Day 2014. Cell Survivor is an original online game intended to engage new audiences with the work of the Alliance and issues that adolescents living with HIV in the global south face on a regular basis.

Aimed primarily at young gaming enthusiasts, the aim of the game is to help protect a single CD4 cell from pathogens including the HIV virus. Condoms are the first weapon of defence to ward off HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Once the player runs out of condoms, the cell becomes infected with HIV. However this is not Game Over, as antiretroviral tablets then help to keep the player’s cell alive. The final level challenges gamers to survive without condoms or antiretroviral tablets, which is the reality for many young people living with HIV around the world who do not have access to such life-saving support.

Read more about the game here, and play at http://cellsurvivor.org

The game is being housed on web-based hosting service GitHub and is an open source software project so that anyone anywhere in the world can input their feedback on the game as well as tailor it for their own use. 

Slipping through the cracks

There are an estimated 2.1 million young people living with HIV, more than 80% of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. HIV testing rates among adolescents remain low with most adolescents not knowing their status and often needing more support, including tailored interventions, to stay in care and adhere to treatment.

That’s why for World AIDS Day 2014 we warned of the urgent need to prioritise HIV and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents, particularly in the global south where they are slipping through the cracks when it comes to healthcare. Read more here.
A youth peer educator gives a condom demonstration