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HIV & AIDS: Creative awareness raising campaigns

Categories: Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Argentina, El Salvador, Peru, South Africa, Venezuela, Digital Activism, Education, Film, Health, Youth

AIDS awareness red ribbonAIDS Day 2008 took place this past December 1st, and it is usually a day for marches and activities to promote AIDS awareness and provide information. Raising awareness for HIV & AIDS requires heavy doses of honesty and creativity to make sure the message is received, accepted and acted upon by very diverse audiences from vastly different backgrounds. Here we bring you a Christian Church that raps in Spanish against Drugs and AIDS, correct male condom usage in El Salvador, a Peruvian campaign using modified Tarot cards to tell “clients” about their future regarding love and sexuality, a Venezuelan calendar that brings nude artists together against AIDS, an African network show about living with HIV/AIDS and an HIV+ Argentinean who shows through video what his life is like.

The Christian Church La Palabra shows a musical drama scene where the victim is sung to by a character playing Drugs in white, and another one playing AIDS in red. They rap a well rhymed rhythm [1] about how the way out of drugs and risky behaviours is to accept Christ, and to listen to the testimony of those who have managed to break free of vice and drugs through religion:

In El Salvador, a young woman asks a member of the audience to show what is the correct way to use a male condom, and he proves that he knows [2] the theoretical and practical aspects of it:

Although the following video can't be embedded, we invite you to view the video on their YouTube page [3]. The Red Juvenil (Youth Network) in Peru came up with a different way to get people involved with knowledge regarding love and sexuality in a somewhat private environment. They set up a divination tent where a “fortune-teller” would read them their future on modified cards that had different concepts like love, friends, self-esteem and as they read them their future, they would tell them about relationships, safer sex behaviours and how to protect themselves.

In Venezuela, Accion Solidaria [4], an NGO who works with AIDS and HIV has put out its fourth annual calendar, this time featuring Venezuelan starlets and tv personalities giving out the message that if AIDS affects even one of us, the it is a problem for all of us. The hook to get people to purchase this calendar? The starlets are in the nude, with strategically placed props and scenery to avoid getting an R rating for the calendar. Their promotional video showing behind-the-scenes [5] footage of the calendar making process is up on YouTube:

From South Africa, Siyayinqoba Beat It! [6] is a TV show geared towards people living with HIV/AIDS as well as their caretakers, family and friends. They started in 1998, and for this year they have included Community Journalists who interview people in four rural communities discussing their experiences with the disease, stigma, treatment and safe sex issues among others. Their YouTube channel [7] is a great way for all of us living outside the country to see what they are up to and what is being discussed. Following, one of the interviews in a community, discussing disclosure in a community in Lusikisiki:

From Argentina, Hector Toscano is an HIV positive photographer and blogger who is also uploading videos showing an introspective view of life with AIDS, his frustrations, successes and fears. In the following video, we see a vignette of his evening routine taking his daily pills:

See more about this topic on our AIDS&HIV coverage page [8]which includes an embeddable map with HIV Positive bloggers from all over the world.

Also, there will be a Live Chat about HIV/AIDS on December 3, 2008

Please join us in a live chat with bloggers and activists on how to use citizen media to promote awareness of HIV/AIDS, it will be facilitated by Kenyan bloggers Serina Kalande and Daudi Were (3pm Nairobi time). See more information, here.