Sharmila Tagore, UNICEF goodwill ambassador for children affected by HIV/AIDS and India’s well known actress has been featured in a new mass media campaign developed by UNICEF in collaboration with NACO for Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission (PPTCT) of HIV.
All available studies indicate that there is extremely low awareness of this mode of transmission of HIV. Services are now in place in antenatal clinics in government hospitals in the six high prevalence states – Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur and Nagaland - that include testing and counseling. There is, therefore a great need to inform people of these services and to generate demand for them.
The strategy is to prompt pregnant women to go to the antenatal clinics where they will receive counseling and, if necessary, testing services.
In the first leg of the campaign, which was piloted in Maharashtra in 2005, the creative strategy that had been adopted was “Good News”, using the euphemism for pregnancy commonly used in India to communicate the “Good News” that unborn babies can now be saved from HIV infection through the PPTCT program.
In the second leg the same strategy is further strengthened by positioning Sharmila Tagore as the bearer of the “Good News”, thereby giving it greater interest and credibility. The campaign includes television and radio spots, press advertisements, posters, hoardings and wall paintings.