group-of-young-people-from-the-caribbean

Communication for
social change

Project

Caribbean Regional Social Marketing Project (CARISMA II)

CARIBBEAN REGION

Challenge

Stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) is a significant human rights issue in the Caribbean, leading to workplace discrimination, denial of housing or school admission, and social ostracization. Adolescents and young adults have been shown to hold particularly stigmatized attitudes toward PLHIV. These social constructs deter PLHIV from seeking social support and care, which in turn can cause greater risk of transmission and morbidity. Fostering care and compassion toward PLHIV is important not only for social cohesion, but for public health.

Innovation

The Pan-Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) and the Caribbean Regional Social Marketing Project (CARISMA) had previously launched a successful anti-discrimination media campaign from 2006-2009. HDI, in collaboration with Guyana-based Astroarts International Marketing and REACH Caribbean, adapted and modernized this campaign in five English-speaking Caribbean nations (Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, and Saint Lucia) in 2012. Applying consortium expertise in marketing and communications, the campaign targeted youth aged 16-24 to foster accepting attitudes toward PLHIV. Project activities consisted of:

  • Stakeholder assessments in each program country and engagement of regional stakeholders.

  • Engaged and trained youth ambassadors to support research activities.

  • Conducted formative qualitative research to assess knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of HIV-related stigma among youth.

  • Evaluated the previous PANCAP/CARISMA campaign and identified points of strengthening.

  • Informed key messages for media campaigns that most resonated with the target audience.

  • Launched a media campaign that incorporated social media, TV, radio, and print to encourage acceptance and compassion for PLHIV.

  • Conducted post-evaluation research to assess recall and attitudes of the target audience after program launch.

Results

In post-evaluation research, 87% of the target audience sample saw or heard different aspects of the campaign at least three times, indicating high visibility. Nearly 50% of the sample also reported that they would be likely to support PLHIV and speak out against discriminatory behavior. Overall, 90% of the sample population agreed that the campaign is raising awareness about the negative social and emotional effects of HIV discrimination.