NACO, in association with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School, spreads the message of social discrimination against AIDS/HIV positive patients, in its new campaign.
The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Communication Programmes, has set about to create awareness regarding AIDS, through its new television campaign. This follows the Red Ribbon Express commercial released in December 2009. The organisation, through the campaign, focusses on the social and professional ostracism of HIV positive persons.
The creative team involved in the campaign includes Amer Jaleel, Manoj Tapadia, Sagar Kapoor, Neeraj Singh, and Satyajit Kadam, while planning includes Tarina Rallan. The servicing team includes Raj Gupta, Reshmi Ganguli, Pooja Jaggi, and Saudamini Junnarkar. Produced by Lintas Productions, the TVC has been directed by Manoj Tapadia.
According to the 2009-2010 annual report by NACO, about 22.7 lakh people were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2008, with an estimated adult HIV prevalence of 0.29 per cent.
The report further states that 87.1 per cent of HIV infections still occur through heterosexual transmission. While parent-to-child transmission accounts for 5.4 per cent of the HIV cases detected, drug abuse accounts for 1.6 per cent. Homosexual sex accounts for 1.5 per cent, while contaminated blood and blood products account for one per cent.
In India, it is unprotected sex with sex workers, unprotected sex between men, and drug abuse, which are the primary drivers of HIV in the country. As per reports, Chandigarh, Punjab, Delhi, Mumbai, Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra have the highest number of HIV positive cases.
Are we aware?
K V Sridhar, national creative director, Leo Burnett, says, "In 2002, Indian society witnessed the entry of Balbir Pasha, a character who created a huge impact in the series of television commercials. Compared to that, this commercial fails in its attempt to provide adequate insight into the subject, which I think is required for a subject like AIDS. But, I liked the campaign. The TVC is well executed and engaging, considering how serious and sensitive the subject is"
According to Kawal Shoor, head, planning, Ogilvy India, trivialising the issue is a smart strategy in order to make people believe that HIV/AIDS is not really that big a deal after all. "The film also builds sufficient intrigue to engage a viewer. Maybe I'm wrong, but I just wonder -- why would people want to shun an HIV positive person? Is it because they think it is serious matter? Or, is it because, in their minds, it puts a question mark on his character?" asks Shoor.