Friday, December 28, 2007
BBC starts contest in India to fight HIV/AIDS
The BBC World Service Trust launched a mass media contest to combat HIV and AIDS in India on 30 November 2007. Within three weeks of the launch, more than 350,000 people had participated in the contest.
UNAIDS estimate around 2.5 million people in India are living with HIV, which only falls behind South Africa in terms of absolute numbers. The highest rates of infection are among men in the south of the country.
Talking about sex
In a contest targeting more than 50 million people, a riddle aims to get people talking about sex with their friends, as they try to solve the clues.
The contest is part of a massive BBC World Service Trust public service campaign to help stem the rate of HIV infections.
The new campaign uses public service adverts on TV, radio and in cinemas, as well as on location at beaches and shopping malls.
The campaign targets men aged 15 to 59 years old in the states of Andhara Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
What’s smart, green and feathery and talks about sex non-stop?
The mass media HIV and AIDS campaign is fronted by an animated green parrot.
The parrot, which represents talking and intelligence, is smart, pesky, has an opinion about everything and a sense of humour.
The campaign’s strapline, 'Jo Bola Wohi Sikander' ('those who talk are winners'), aims to encourage people to talk about HIV and AIDS prevention, emphasising that the real winners are those who communicate about such issues.
Yvonne MacPherson, Trust country director for India said: "The strength of the creative idea behind this campaign is that instead of an advert that tells people to talk about sexual health, it actually stimulates people to talk.
'We believe the riddle posed in the advertisements is sufficiently enticing and tricky that men will have to talk about it with their friends in order to arrive at the answer."
India’s largest HIV and AIDS mass media campaign
Over the past six years, the BBC World Service Trust, which is the international charity of the BBC, has been implementing India’s largest HIV and AIDS mass media campaign.
It has produced two weekly television shows for Doordarshan (the public TV broadcaster): a drama, starring HIV-positive detective Jasoos Vijay, and a reality show Haath se Haath Milaa, which featured over 40 Hindi film stars.
The last series of Jasoos Vijay was watched by over 70 million viewers. The detective series was awarded the Best Thriller Serial at the prestigious Indian Telly Awards.
This latest HIV and AIDS mass media campaign run by the Trust is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.