Zambia’s HIV prevalence is the seventh highest in the world, at 11.1 percent (Zambia Statistical Agency et al., 2019). The prevalence is higher among women (14.2%) than men (7.5%). Prevalence is also higher in urban areas compared to rural areas.

The government’s efforts to increase condom availability, accessibility, and use are key to HIV prevention in Zambia. Although condoms are part of most national HIV, STI, and reproductive health programs, these efforts have not been consistently distributed nor promoted proactively enough.

The total number of new infections in 2018 was estimated at 48,000 among all ages (UNAIDS, 2019). Zambia has a generalised epidemic with pockets of concentrated epidemics; heterosexual sex is the primary mode of HIV transmission making condom accessibility and programming an important HIV prevention Tool. Condoms play a special role in combating the spread of HIV/AIDS because they are presently the only devices that protect against sexually transmitted HIV, other STIs and unwanted pregnancies. Although condoms provide this triple protection, their access and use remain limited, especially among young people who are more likely to engage in risky behaviour. 

In the Zambia Demographic and Health Survey of 2018, 35% of females and 54% of males reported using a condom when having sex with a person who was neither their spouse nor lived with them in the 12 months before the survey. The proportions were even lower among young people. Only 34% of females and 49% of males aged 15 to 24 years used a condom at the last high-risk sex with a non-regular partner.  HIV prevalence among young people aged 15 to 24 years was estimated at 3.8%.

With these challenges in mind, The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), in partnership with BongoHive, is looking for innovative ways of solving  some of the problems identified.

Challenge Statements

Note that this innovation challenge has 5 problem statements and 5 corresponding challenge statements. Read and understand each problem statement and challenge statement before you apply and in your application let us know which challenge statement you would like to explore solving for; 1, 2,3, 4 or 5.

1. Problem statement: Beliefs

Chibuye Moonga is a 17-year-old resident of Mugurameno Village in the Lower Zambezi of Southern Province who has heard that sex without a condom is not pleasurable, and that real men don’t wear condoms.

2. Problem statement: Social and cultural norms

Mwewa Phiri is a sexually active 16-year-old girl who resides in the outskirts of Chongwe district. She has heard about the importance of condoms but is afraid to ask her childhood boyfriend, Chitemwiko Daka, to use one.

3. Problem statement: Sensitization and strategy

Charity Miyoba is a 28-year-old DREAMS Connector who wants to support AYP in accessing and increasing their use of condoms.

4. Problem statement: Fear of judgement

Moonga Malasha, a sexually active teenage resident of Kanyama Township in Lusaka Province, would like to access condoms and other sexual and reproductive health services but is afraid of being judged at the local pharmacy or clinic.

5. Problem statement: Media & Technology

Liseli Sitali, a 19-year-old sexually active young woman living in the outskirts of Mongu district is confused by conflicting information she has received from her friends about the benefits and risks of condoms and other HIV prevention services.



30 Nov – 23 Dec 2022

Applications will be accepted from 30 Nov – 23 Dec 2022


7 December 2022

Learn more about the Challenge.


30 Jan – 3 Feb 2023

Selected innovators explore the potential of their idea by validating the market and testing all assumptions in 5 days.


3 February 2023

Pitching and Live Demo Session to select 3 winning innovations.


PEPFAR Support

Work with PEPFAR Zambia and/or one of its partners to develop the solution.


1st – ZMW18,000

2nd – ZMW12,000

3rd – ZMW9,000


Receive coaching from BongoHive and PEPFAR Experts


Application Deadline: 23:59hrs on Friday, 23 Dec 2022