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200820092010
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22 Apr 2009 - 2 Aug 2009
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“Going with the flow”: HIV and AIDS prevention in Nigeria
Nigeria
Asabe Sambo works for the Society for Family Health (SFH) in Nigeria. She conducts peer to peer education work with groups who are highly vulnerable to HIV infection, using media outputs produced by the BBC World Service Trust to inform and stimulate discussion. This is her story.

We conduct community interventions on HIV and AIDS and family planning. We work with groups who are highly vulnerable to HIV infection such as uniformed services men, out-of-school youth, transport workers and female sex workers.
In order to really engage these groups and make them adopt and maintain behaviours that will prevent the spread of HIV, we 'go with their flow' and meet them where they normally come together.
We do sessions during meetings of the transport workers association, or we work with brothel owners and have meetings there.
Our Peer Education Plus model means that we train people from within the communities to become points of reference for HIV information such as abstinence, condom use, testing and the risks of multiple partnering.
Mass media appeal
We do sessions during meetings of the transport workers association, or we work with brothel owners and have meetings there.
Direct observations and research studies show that combining mass media with community information is a very efficient means to initiate and maintain behaviour change with highly vulnerable communities.

Since the BBC World Service Trust started to broadcast its nationwide STOP HIV campaign on radio, TV and in films, we have been using these mass media materials in our groups.
They offer an excellent way into a thorough discussion of HIV and AIDS issues.
It can be tricky to break the ice when you want to talk about sex, condoms or masturbation. But during a group session watching the television drama Wetin Dey (What's Up?), which uses a lot of humour and emotion around these issues, we can delve into a thorough discussion straight away.
The drama also provides role models whom we can refer to. And of course, we have people who want to come back and watch more of the drama, who are then exposed to more messaging.
We have worked with the BBC World Service Trust to agree our main HIV messages, so when we use the TV drama in a community discussion, we are sure that the drama uses the same language when offering solutions to HIV problems as our Peer Education Plus manuals.
The BBC World Service Trust programmes in native languages, such as the radio programme in Hausa called Ya Take Ne? are even more successful.
The programme is very lively with debate and celebrity appearances, so there is always a lively and encouraging discussion after a listening session.
The drama provides role models whom we can refer to. And of course, we have people who want to come back and watch more
BBC World Service Trust programmes are well known on radio and TV, and we find that community members like to associate with them and their HIV content.

Special experience
I have personally participated in one of the TV discussions produced by the BBC World Service Trust, where I was the facilitator of a discussion with a young audience on the HIV messages of the TV drama Wetin Dey (What's Up?).
I am quite used to facilitating even difficult groups, but to see myself on national TV was a special experience! It made me proud when I got positive feedback in my community groups.
At Society for Family Health (SFH), we use every possible circumstance in the communities to get our messages across.
This includes using local cinemas and slotting the Wetin Dey drama or radio programmes in between popular Hindi action movies and having a discussion with the attending youth.
Some are so keen that they get up to get tested there and then.
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Related links
Combating HIV and AIDS - video
Using radio, television and film to stop HIV in Nigeria
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