13 Aug On the Billboard
HIV and AIDS Communication and Stigma
Stigmatizing attitudes against people living with HIV and AIDS in the Middle East and North Africa region stem in part from an absence of education about HIV and AIDS. The project “On the Billboard” attempted to address the gaps in knowledge by producing and broadcasting five-minute episodes of Telecine International’s groundbreaking “Love Life” videos previously aired on Arab satellite television channels. The episodes depict 2-D animations and personal testimonies of people living with HIV and AIDS from across the Arab region. Also produced in sign language, the episodes were aired on Cairo’s underground metro stations’ closed television circuits over a one-month period and repeated almost twenty times daily for the 4 million commuters. The episodes are hosted online at www.bahebelhayat.com. The project has increased the awareness of Cairo’s metro commuters on HIV and AIDS. As a result of implementing the project, Telecine International became an active member in a regional civil society organisations’ forum supporting people living with HIV/AIDS in the Arab region. The forum convenes meetings to build the capacity of the constituent member organisations in HIV and AIDS awareness. As well, it has instituted a process to publish a book on human interest stories by people living with HIV and AIDS. The resource is used by Egyptian civil society organisations to combat stigmatization of people living with HIV.