May #123 : Ratings for a Serial Virus - by Jessie Torrisi

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
E-newsletters
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
Username:
Password:

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues




Table of Contents
 
One Tough Pirate



Seeing the Future

Mentors-May 2006

Medicine Men




Custom Care

Early Birds

Simply Irresistible

The Topic of Cancer

Sow Your Oats

Trainer’s Bench-May 2006

Hustle and Flow

Animal Attraction

Purrrfect Health

Women on Top

PEP Rally

POZ Personals Catch of the Month-May 2006

First Aid for Your Medicaid

Shall We Dance?




A Will & Grace-full Exit?

Ratings for a Serial Virus

Squeaky Clean?

Prescription For Change

Bono’s Red Alert

One Hot ASO

Banned Aid

It’s Not You; It’s Me

Near Dead Again




Editor's Letter-May 2006

Mailbox-May 2006



Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV



email print

May 2006


Ratings for a Serial Virus

by Jessie Torrisi

African soap operas tune in to AIDS prevention

When last we left the love-lorn Sipho, he was torn with guilt: How could he possibly stay with Chantal now that he knows she has HIV? Then again, could he abandon his one true love? As he makes up his mind, 30 million people will suffer right along with him. Soul City, a nighttime soap (think Passions meets Angels in America) premiered in 1994 and has become South Africa’s most popular program, boasting more viewers than any U.S. series besides American Idol. It melds entertainment and HIV education with plotlines that push the lifesaving power of condoms and HAART. The program airs in nine African nations. “With soap opera viewers, there is no [literacy] barrier,” says Akinyele Dairo, a United Nations HIV prevention adviser. “Viewers can gather around a TV or radio in the remotest village, and the message will get across.”

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has invested $127 million in promoting international “edutainment” efforts, including Soul City. USAID partners African TV and radio producers with American creative think tanks to develop shows that highlight AIDS issues. “We’re trying to capture the choices and decisions a person has to make,” says Michael Castlen, executive director of nonprofit firm Populations Communications International, which produces soap operas that promote social change. USAID, in conjunction with other organizations, has sponsored hundreds of HIV-themed shows across Africa. The results are encouraging: Viewers of Tsha Tsha, a South African drama for teens, were 12% more likely to get tested, delay sex or stick to monogamy, according to a survey of regular viewers. “Tsha Tsha increases awareness and discussion in the community,” says Dairo. “The week after a show about the importance of testing, people flooded the health centers.”

Meanwhile, nongovernmental organization (NGO) FilmAid International imports AIDS films from around the world to African refugee camps, where health workers often find it difficult to establish an HIV dialogue. With the drama Fur Indhahada/Open Your Eyes last year, the organization hoped to break the silence around HIV in Muslim communities. The film tells the story of a Somali girl whose husband mysteriously dies of AIDS. She is forced to marry his brother, who then also falls ill with HIV. “You have to get creative,” says Emily MacDonald, communications director at FilmAid. “There’s a lot to be said for reaching 30,000 people in one night for the cost of a projector and a screen.”

Even in the U.S., where HIV plots remain minor (see the previous page), thousands dialed the Centers for Disease Control hot line to inquire about HIV after a man told his fiancée he had the virus in a 2001 episode of The Bold and the Beautiful. “People respond to storytelling, and the modern incarnation of storytelling is the serial drama,” says Castlen. This season on Soul City, there was certainly no shortage of theatrics. A man dies, and his neighbors shun his struggling family (though they eventually pitch in to help). A positive woman can’t convince her boyfriend to get tested. What about Chantal and Sipho? They decide to stick together and start grappling with whether or not to have children. Such are the days of our lives.                      


[Go to top]

Join POZ Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV 101
HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ TV
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Women
African American
Latino
Providers
Job Listings
Events Calendar


    Drew949
    South Orange County
    California


    romanticseattle
    Tacoma
    Washington


    max38man
    Chicago
    Illinois


    pozsmith1
    East Bay
    California
Click here to join POZ Personals!
Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Poll
Do you enjoy books with HIV-positive characters?
Yes
No

Survey
Mind Matters

more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.