The online magazine and social media community was established by HIVSA, with seed funding from GIZ. The magazine collaborates with the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project in an effort to reduce HIV infection in girls between the ages of 15 and 24 through interactive education.

Choma aims to do this by providing sexual health education that is 'comprehensive and gripping'. This is opposed to abstinence-based sex-education, which does not adequately tackle issues around sexuality, the magazine says.

The magazine and social media pages delve into the topics of love and relationships, sex, contraception and condom use as well as overall health. In addition to this, the 'Ask Choma' feature allows users to ask questions and engage in conversations surrounding these topics.

Since its inception, Choma has had over 1 003 621 visitors on the site and over a million website sessions — with an average of 1.6 pages viewed per session. Choma articles are the website's most popular content, with the 'Sex and Pregnancy' category being a favourite, followed by 'Ask Choma.'
This is indicative of readers' interest and ability to relate to the content. Choma's reception on social media platforms has also been quite positive, with Facebook reaching over 114 000 'likes'.

The project has received recognition from various awards in the digital sphere. Choma won a Silver Pixel in the Public Service and NPO category at the Bookmarks earlier this year, as well as Most Innovative Social Media campaign by a Small Agency at the New Gen awards in 2017.

"Nothing is more rewarding than seeing a project as important and helpful as Choma experience the growth and success it has received over the years," says Luke Goller, managing partner at Arc Interactive. "We look forward to making a greater impact through the project and reaching even bigger milestones." Arc Interactive, a digital ad agency, is responsible for Choma's website and social media content and strategy.

Choma additionally aims to make a difference in the lives of young South Africans with the launch of its '#DoneWithSilence campaign', which has the goal of ending the silence around issues of gender inequality and violence.

Backed by the likes of TV host, Kim Jayde Robinson and celebrity doctor, Dr Sindi Van Zyl, the campaign strives to engage users on important discussions about issues that matter to them.

"HIVSA is extremely proud of Choma's achievements and will continue to ensure that through Choma, girls and young women will consistently have access to factual sexual health information," says Yashmita Naidoo, CEO of HIVSA.

"Choma is committed to ensuring that girls and young women are empowered to make informed decisions about their sexual well-being," Naidoo concludes.

For more information, visit You can also follow Choma on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram.

*Image courtesy of Choma