03.12.2012 - UNESCO Office in Amman

UNESCO Office in Amman launches the “Red Ribbon” media campaign on the occasion of World AIDS Day 2012

©UNESCO AMMANYouth performing a song and dance on HIV/AIDS issues at the Red Ribbon launch event

The UNESCO Office in Amman, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the National AIDS Programme (NAP), ILO, WHO, UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNRWA and Y-Peers launched a youth-focused mass media campaign on HIV/AIDS on December 3rd in commemoration of World AIDS Day 2012. The campaign aimed to increase the level of awareness and understanding among youth on issues relating to HIV/AIDS so that incorrect perceptions are rectified, stigma and discrimination reducedndhe series on when t page name so we can directplained as it referes to thehe issue..., and high risk behaviors minimized.

The campaign – named “Red Ribbon” – targets youth aged 18-27, includes six short television clips produced by Ro’ya TV aired over the period from December 2012 to May 2013. As a part of the campaign, a “Red Ribbon” Facebook page (www.facebook.com/RedRibbonJO) has been launched to target youth in Jordan to encourage discussion on HIV/AIDS issues, while making available knowledge experts to respond to any questions or concerns youth may have surrounding HIV/AIDS. Each new television clip will be shared on the Facebook page, in addition to daily tips, videos, e-posters, related articles and links to publications that will also feature on the page.

In her speech at the launch event, the UNESCO Head of Office in Amman Ms. Anna Paolini emphasized that:

“Use of new media and technologies, including the internet, provides an important opportunity to reach and sensitize young people who are increasingly influencing each other through social media channels. UNESCO will continue to draw on the combined expertise of its Education and Communication and Information Sectors to maximise the potential of new media and technologies.”

Prior to the launch of the project, youth focus group discussions were held across Jordan to highlight the main issues and concerns that should be taken into consideration when drafting the script for the episodes. This was followed by a scriptwriters workshop conducted by the series’ producer Ro’ya TV, to ensure the script appropriately addresses the issue of attitude and behavior change towards HIV/AIDS among youth.

Currently in Jordan, HIV/AIDS prevalence is relatively contained. However, the overall level of knowledge and understanding on the disease is limited among the general public. A 2008 study conducted in the Balqa Governorate among 1,887 college students showed that 67% of them had the misconception that sharing food with people living with HIV/AIDS can lead to transmission, while over 50% of them believed sneezing/coughing and mosquito bites were also possible routes of infection. 32% of the students surveyed said that people living with HIV should not be allowed to study in school and 25% said that they should not be allowed to teach. These figures reveal a startling lack of understanding on HIV/AIDS among the surveyed group.

Increasing education and understanding of HIV/AIDS is crucial to avoiding misconception and stigma surrounding the issue. Campaigns and events such as World AIDS Day help to raise awareness, promote non-discrimination and change people’s perceptions so that the global fight against AIDS can be won.

For more information on the campaign, please contact Ma`aly Hazzaz m.hazzaz@unesco.org.


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