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Campaign Art: How Do You Talk about Sex When it is Taboo?

Roxanne Bauer's picture

People, Spaces, Deliberation bloggers present exceptional campaign art from all over the world. These examples are meant to inspire.

How do you inform young people of the importance of safe sex in Ethiopia, where sex is a taboo subject?

Turns out, the answer lies in the dance group, Addis Beza. 

Addis Beza means "to live for others" in Amharic, and members of the group, aged 15-20, use their vibrant moves to open-up discussions about safe sex. The group regularly performs in front of mobile HIV testing vans and public spaces, encouraging the crowds they draw to practice safe sex with condoms and to get tested free of charge.

Addis Beza

The campaign highlights the need to prioritise and involve young people in efforts to tackle HIV as the virus disproportionately affects adolescents and young adults aged 15-24. According to the UNAIDS World AIDS Day report 2012, this age group sees 2,400 new infections every day, and they account for 40 percent of all new adult HIV infections. As the video states, "arming young people with the knowledge they need to keep themselves safe is critical" to helping end AIDS.

The video is part of a campaign by the Link Up project.  This programme aims to improve the situation of young people living with and affected by HIV.  Countries targeted in the campaign include Bangladesh, Burundi, Ethiopia, Myanmar and Uganda.  HIV testing in Ethiopia is organized in cooperation with the Organization for Social Services for AIDS (OSSA), Ethiopia’s largest NGO focused on HIV.

Source: International HIV/AIDS Alliance

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Submitted by Jamie Uhrig on

Great vid.

The content is not so good. HIV testing does not prevent HIV acquisition. And peak prevalence in Ethiopia is for people in their thirties, not their twenties. Incidence has never been calculated for the country.

Thank you for the information, Jamie.  Clearly, HIV prevention is not just about testing but also about practicing safe sex and having frank conversations.

Submitted by Jamie Uhrig on

Appreciate your comment on inputs and outcomes. But the fact is that VCT does NOT have an impact on HIV incidence. Many studies, latest of which from near Ethiopia: Cawley et al. BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14:159

Prevalence data from Ethiopia would be more relevant than global data.

Submitted by Jamie Uhrig on

How to prevent HIV in Ethiopia? Do nothing new for the general population where HIV incidence is low and unchanging. Intensify HIV prevention through condom skills development and community empowerment among female sex workers where HIV prevalence has just been scientifically measured at 24%. Oh, and treat these women.

Submitted by tedla on

civil society should work hard !Good policy by it self can not cop up the alarming rate of poverty , unfair distribution income, transmitted disses and others . Generally Government,civil society and NGO try to solve social ,economical, and political problems of the country. Please please...we are in danger now a days !

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