Information Update - 27 March, 2009

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Mini Radio Drama Series Scores Big with Broadcasters and Listeners

As part of the YOU campaign ABMP member companies have for the past year broadcast a mini-radio drama called Can Tru Luv Withstand the Test? Using the popular soap opera format this condensed drama is broadcast in 2 minute episodes. The highly dramatized story follows the travails of a regular group of young (20 something) people as they navigate through life. Focusing mainly on gender equity and mutual trust in relationship, the series drives a strong HIV-testing message. With additional support from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, beginning in May, the ABMP will begin broadcast of new year-long series in this radio drama with new episodes airing every 2 weeks.

“The value of these short format edu-dramas,” says ABMP Steering Committee Chair, Joyce Mhaville, Managing Director of ITV, Tanzania, “is that they have a high repeat broadcast value because they can be used as program fillers and in unsold commercial airtime. And they are popular because people identify with the storyline and are looking for the next one.”

Radio program producers also use the series to anchor talk shows and magazine programs dealing with the core themes of each episode.

Focus groups across three ABMP countries recently found that young adults (18-35 years) strongly identify with the characters of the story, find the dramatic format compelling, and had high recall of the principal HIV/AIDS-related messages included in the series.

New episodes of the series, beginning May 2009, will reflect the YOU campaign’s overall emphasis on gender equity, stigma reduction and hope for the future together with a strong call for regular HIV-testing as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Also the new series, will include themes picking up on the building excitement around the upcoming 2010 Soccer World Cup. A formal impact evaluation of the series will be conducted in mid-2010.

To listen to Can Tru Luv Withstand the Test go to http://www.broadcasthivafrica.org/resource/radio.html and http://itbeginswithyou.org/ads/edudrama.html


YOU Campaign to Build on Soccer Theme Over Next Year

The ABMP’s YOU campaign is the only sustained pan-African HIV/AIDS education campaign now beginning it’s third year. Over the past two years the campaign has focused on the key drivers of the HIV epidemic including gender equity, stigma, sexual coercion and peer pressure.

Last December the YOU campaign launched a fresh angle focusing on the importance of hope and self esteem to motivate young people to avoid risks associated with HIV infection and other negative outcomes like substance abuse and crime. The new ads also introduced soccer as a metaphor for healthy living, pride and achievement.

“The soccer metaphor will be sustained as a strong feature of the YOU campaign over the next year,” says ABMP Production Consortium director, Carolyn Carew. “We have engaged with the broadcasters about audience interest and clearly there is a lot of anticipation across Africa in the build up to the 2010 Soccer World Cup,” she adds, “and the ABMP sees this as an obvious opportunity to reach young audiences by tapping into their excitement and pride at the first Soccer World Cup to be hosted in Africa.”

ABMP member companies have committed to broadcast YOU campaign ads in air-time around 2010-related broadcasts.

Ms. Carew says, “We are going to focus on regular young people and their appreciation of the game in the campaign, rather than soccer stars, because the top soccer stars will likely feature in many commercial campaigns, and there is sometimes question about what kind of role models these stars are in a campaign that encourages risk avoidance behaviour.”

To view the current YOU campaign ads go to http://itbeginswithyou.org/ads/index.html



Tracking ABMP Member Company Performance Shows Institutionalization of Commitment

Each year for the past three years ABMP members companies have reported their performance against the key objectives of the ABMP. At least 80% of member companies complete the so-called Scorecard Survey annually and an independent audit of a sub-set of 18 member countries conducted in early 2008 confirmed the results of the self-reporting scorecard.

The trend over the past three years, as illustrated, in the table below, shows steady growth in commitment by broadcasters to increasing HIV/AIDS-related content, airtime and production resources.

Significant headway has also been made in integrating HIV/AIDS as part of core business strategy, establishing workplace HIV/AIDS related programs and protocols. Media leaders are also playing a much more assertive role in advocating for sustained and increased national commitment to combating HIV/AIDS.

Summary of findings from annual ABMP member survey (conducted in June) regarding commitments for 12 months prior
(Note: as ABMP launched in September 2005, the 2006 results reflect 9 months prior, rather than 12 as is case for others)
  # Broadcast Members in ABMP    
  # Countries Represented in ABMP    
  % of members allocating at least 5% of airtime to HIV/AIDS, as per ABMP commitment    
  Adopted HIV/AIDS as core business strategy?    
    IF YES, in response to ABMP?    
    IF YES, has company's position on HIV/AIDS as core business strategy been…    
    Communicated to all employees?    
    Communicated publicly outside of company?    
  Written workplace policy on HIV/AIDS?    
    IF YES, has it been communicated to all employees?    
  In past year, discussed coordination of ABMP efforts with…    
    Government officials?    
Resource Allocation
  Annual budget commitment for HIV/AIDS programming?    
    IF YES, increase from prior years?    
  Other than airtime, dedicated financial, technical, other expertise/resources?    
    IF YES, increase from prior years?    
  Written HIV/AIDS communication and programming strategy    
  Included HIV/AIDS messaging in following formats:    
    Entertainment (music / game show / drama / sitcom / reality)?    
    Other (talk / magazine / documentary)?    
  Increase in commitment of airtime to HIV/AIDS content from year prior?    
    IF YES, is increase in response to ABMP?    
  Anticipated increase in commitment of airtime to HIV/AIDS in coming year?    

To access the full report of 2008 annual scorecard and the independent audit go to http://www.broadcasthivafrica.org/abmp_study.html


New Clearinghouse Website on Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention

A new website has been launched by the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, Family Health International, and several U.S. and British public health schools which aims to serve as a resource on male circumcision and HIV/AIDS.

According to the New York Times, since WHO and UNAIDS two years ago recommended that male circumcision be made available in countries highly affected by HIV/AIDS to help reduce transmission of the virus through heterosexual sex, much "misinformation has circulated" regarding the procedure in some countries. In addition, there has been a "dangerous surge in complications as traditional healers without sterile instruments began offering cheap circumcisions," the Times reports.

The website includes scientific studies, policy documents and news articles and aims to address some popular myths, including one that circumcision provides complete protection from HIV, so circumcised men do not need to use condoms, according to Dr. Kim Eva Dickson, a WHO medical officer who oversaw the creation of the Web site.

It also includes a handbook that demonstrates surgical techniques, although Dr. Dickson said that it is not meant to train traditional healers or surgeons. She added that the handbook could help at some small hospitals in rural areas by demonstrating new methods for further investigation and teaching that men need pain management, sex advice and condoms in addition to surgery.

For the full New York Times article, click here

To view the clearinghouse website, go here


Upcoming Meetings and Conferences

The 4th Southern African AIDS Conference:, Durban, South Africa
Dates: March 31- April 3, 2009
Theme: Scaling up for Success to Reduce the AIDS Burden
Event Type: Conference
Subject: Epidemiology; Ethical Issues; HIV/AIDS Prevention; HIV/AIDS Treatment or Therapies; Human Rights; Socioeconomic Factors
Description: The theme of this conference "Scaling up for success" recognises that there is an urgency to take stock of best practices in treatment and prevention and to scale these up sufficiently to begin to roll back the onslaught in numbers and impact that the epidemic is currently waging in Southern Africa. For the first time, the Conference has been extended beyond South Africa's borders to encourage participation from all countries in Southern Africa.

For more information contact
Neo Sithole
Email: neon@foundation.co.za;
Web site: http://www.saaids.com/


XV Cali's Conference on HIV/AIDS & Infectious Diseases, Santiago de Cali, Colombia
Dates: April 2-5, 2009
Event Type: Conference
Subject: Antiretroviral Drugs; HIV/AIDS; HPV; Infections; Opportunistic Infections; Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs); Surveillance; Tuberculosis (TB)
Description: The purpose of this conference is to increase, update, and improve the dissemination of knowledge on HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases for the target populations of professionals, professors, researchers, and students, focused on HIV/AIDS & Infectious

For more information contact
Dr. Ángela Medina/Jaime Galindo
Email: inscripcion@clsida.org.co; corposida@clsida.org.co;
Website: www.clsida.org.co/



36th Annual International Conference on Global Health, Washington DC, United States
Dates: May 26-30, 2009
Theme: New Technologies + Proven Strategies = Healthy Communities
Event Type: Conference
Subject: Children; HIV/AIDS; International Health; Tuberculosis (TB); Women; Infectious Diseases
Description: The Global Health Council's 36th Annual Conference will highlight the ways in which technologies in combination with best practices and evidence-based policies improve health around the world. The Council is seeking two types of abstracts this year: theme-related, and key health issue-related. One of the keys to strengthening health systems, alleviating the burden of disease and fostering health equity among the world's two billion poorest citizens is to learn and share the latest findings related to new and innovative programs and policies in the key health issues of global health and to share these latest findings with program implementers and policy-makers. Among these key health issues are: Women's Health; Child Health and Survival; HIV/AIDS; TB, Malaria and Other Infectious Diseases; and Emerging Issues.

For more information contact:
Carrie at: cbaughman@globalhealth.org;
Web site: www.globalhealth.org/conference_2009/



HIV/AIDS Implementer's Meeting , Windhoek, Namibia
Dates: June 10-14, 2009
Theme: Optimizing the Response: Partnerships for Sustainability
Event Type: Meeting
Subject: The scale-up of HIV prevention, treatment, and care to reach unprecedented levels of scope, quality, and access.
Description: The HIV/AIDS Implementers' Meeting gathers together program implementers to share best practices and lessons learned in the fight against global AIDS. It is the only meeting of its kind focused specifically on implementation. The objectives of the 2009 HIV/AIDS Implementers' Meeting are to: Widely disseminate, in real time, best practices and lessons learned during the implementation of multi-sectoral HIV/AIDS programs with a focus on: Optimizing the Impact of Prevention, Care and Treatment Programs; Enhancing Program Quality; Promoting Coordination Among Partners; Encouraging Innovative Responses; Catalyze an open dialogue about future directions of HIV/AIDS programs with a strong emphasis on implementation; Directly impact HIV/AIDS program implementation in the upcoming year with the goal of building a sustainable response.

For more information contact:
HIV/AIDS Implementers' Meeting Conference Secretariat
2025 M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
Email: hivimplementers@courtesyassoc.com
Website: http://www.hivimplementers.com/default.asp



5th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2009), Cape Town, South Africa
Dates: July 19-22, 2009
Event Type: Conference
Subject: Basic Sciences, Clinical Science, Biomedical Prevention, Operations Research
Description: Held every two years, the conference attracts about 5,000 delegates from all over the world. It is a unique opportunity for the world’s leading scientists, clinicians, public health experts and community leaders to examine the latest developments in HIV-related research, and to explore how scientific advances can – in very practical ways – inform the global response to HIV/AIDS. As the fifth conference in this series, IAS 2009 will continue its strong emphasis on basic, clinical and biomedical prevention science. However, for the first time, the scientific programme also will include a fourth track on Operations Research. This newest feature underscores one of the defining characteristics of the IAS conference: to examine how scientific advances increase knowledge and are instrumental, through very practical ways, to reach populations which need new and improved methods to prevent, treat, and effectively confront the epidemic.

For more information contact:
Email: media@ias2009.org
Website: http://www.ias2009.org/start.aspx

- Karen Bennett or Lindsey Rodger (Geneva, Switzerland)
Tel: +41 22 7100 832

- Regina Aragón (United States)
Tel: +1 510 962 5545

- Magda Naude (Pretoria, South Africa)
Tel: +27 82 452 5878



2009 National HIV Prevention Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Dates: August 23-26, 2009
Theme: Promoting Synergy Between Science and Program
Event Type: Conference
Subject: Behavior Modification; Diagnosis; Epidemics; Health Care Accessibility; HIV Testing; HIV/AIDS Prevention; Treatment
Description: This conference covers the entire spectrum of HIV prevention, from science to programs. It convenes HIV prevention experts and advocates from various backgrounds and communities nationwide. Numerous governmental and non-governmental organizations have committed their support to the 2009 National HIV Prevention Conference because it offers opportunities to share effective prevention approaches and research findings among governmental, community, and academic partners in HIV prevention; strengthen collaborations between program practitioners and researchers in areas including behavioral interventions, biomedical interventions, monitoring the epidemic, implementing rapid and reliable tests for early HIV diagnosis, and improving access to early treatment and prevention services for persons with HIV; address new cross cutting themes; and highlight the work of new researchers in the field of HIV prevention.

For more information contact:
Email: info@2009NHPC.org;
Phone: +1-800-772-8232
Website: www.2009nhpc.org/



XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010, International AIDS Society), Vienna, Austria
Dates: July 18-23, 2010
Event Type: Conference
Subject: Basic Science, Clinical Sciences, Epidemiology and Prevention Sciences, Psycho-social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics, Operations Research, Care and Health Systems, Policy, Law, Human Rights and Political Science
Description: AIDS 2010 will be the eighteenth in this series of international AIDS conferences. In August 2008, it will be held in Mexico City, Mexico, and the previous meeting was held in Toronto, Canada in 2006. With more than 2,500 international journalists expected to attend, the conference is the single most widely covered health event in the world. Vienna was selected to host AIDS 2010 following an evaluation of candidate cities by the IAS in consultation with its international partners. Candidate cities were evaluated by the IAS Governing Council according to three criteria: impact on the epidemic, sufficient infrastructure, and freedom of movement and travel for people living with HIV/AIDS.

For more information go to:
Website: http://www.aids2010.org/start.aspx


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