Social mobilization to end AIDS using STAR (Societies Tackling AIDS through Rights) - a social change communication approach developed by ActionAid for mobilisation of most vulnerable communities to end stigma, discrimination, violence and advocacy for universal access to treatment. Applied in 12 countries across the globe over the past five years STAR is today accepted as a social change communication tool by UNAIDS and used by many other agencies for an effective response particularly to deal with the social and human rights aspects of the epidemic
ActionAid, Theme HIV and AIDS, Johannesburg, South Africa
Issues: Poverty, injustice, gender inequality, unjust policies subject poor and
excluded people to vulnerabilities, deprives them of their power to decisions,
subjects them to violence and increases their vulnerability to HIV infection.
mobilization process has been effectively initiated in 12 countries using
a participatory approach developed by ActionAid known as 'STAR'. Social groups
targeted include positive people , sex
workers,migrant workers, IDU users, poor women and others. The process involves
organizing social groups at village level, forming a circle of 25-30 persons.
Circles conduct meetings with the help of a trained facilitator.
Members identify issues, discuss, link it up
with macro issues and map out solutions. Inter circle meetings and
intergenerational discussions are encouraged to deal with issues that go beyond
a circle and which may require joint action. Through 1200 circles, we reach to more than 100,000 people , 50% of them are direct
beneficiaries that have knowledge on HIV transmission and information on
reproductive health mostly women. Changes seen are women have
started demanding that men use condoms. Women Circles in India advocating for social entitlements like PDS and PLHA circles in African countries lobbied for ART supply centers to be
closer to their community, identified OVCs and encouraged them to return to
school and got Livelihood support from State.
Lessons learned: An effective
participatory approach to community based HIV prevention, enabling people to
access quality treatment care and support. Mobilization of positive people to
claim their rights has brought about policy changes resulting in social
entitlements. In countries where STAR is operational there is
a greater acceptance of PLHIV within household and communities. The approach can be applied with different
stakeholders, in diverse situations irrespective of the HIV and AIDS
Next steps: Promote STAR globally and reach out to maximum countries and people.
Back to the session -
Back to the Programme-at-a-Glance