XVIII International AIDS Conference


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AIDS and the mainstream media: one NGO's innovation

A. Cooke1, K. Tinglin2

1Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, St Andrew, Jamaica, 2University of the West Indies, Mona, Radio Education Unit, St Andrew, Jamaica

Background: Since its over a decade of existence, Jamaica AIDS support For Life (JASL) has engaged in innovative ways of getting the HIV and AIDS messages out to the general public. One such move was to capitalize on radio which is a primary means of communication in this country and which reaches over 90% of the population .
Innovation: JASL has produced “Life's Voices”, a weekly 15 minute radio programme for over six years.
Technical assistance from the Radio Education Unit of the University of the West Indies directing recording, duplicating the programme
Utilizes a cadre of 10 volunteer hosts who hail from many different sectors of the society (media, drama, politics, human rights)
Interview Guests form varying backgrounds and specialties, local regional and international
Features different topics related to HIV such as (HIV Testing, Partner Notification, Work place Policy; Rectal microbicides, Vienna 2100, The Performing Arts
Focuses on vulnerable populations such as PLWAs, MSM, SW, Drug users
Gives a local, regional and International Perspective
Results: Since its inception, distributed locally to three radio stations with a combined listenership 300,000 persons per show.
Distributed to 14 radio stations in the Caribbean Region
Uploaded to three websites
Way forward:
Make programme more adolescent friendly and attractive
Aim for Prime time airing
Aim for the TV version of “Life's Voices”

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