By: Janice Dayle
A historic Pan-Caribbean call for audiences to "LIVE UP" in this age of AIDS is set for launching in conjunction with the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup 2007 in Kingston, Jamaica. Never before have more than 50 television and radio broadcasters across the Caribbean galvanized efforts to inspire and empower particularly young people to increase their awareness of HIV/AIDS. Aiming ultimately at stemming the spread of this crippling disease across the Caribbean region the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS (CBMP), designed the LIVE UP campaign.
"LIVE UP is not a campaign of one broadcaster, one country, or even one year," noted CBMP Steering Committee Chair, Dr. Allyson Leacock. "As the first media-led AIDS education effort to span the entire Caribbean region, LIVE UP will involve major broadcasters on every island working together, across different media but with unified messages and a shared approach, to help turn back this disease and protect the health of our young people. LIVE UP focuses on what young people can do to help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and how the region can come together to create a more open, supportive environment for people already living with the virus."
Broadcast across 23 nations, the campaign's message of hope and positive action will enable Caribbean wide audiences to better understand their HIV risk and take personal action in response.
With its multi-platform, this campaign extends HIV/AIDS content across all programming platforms and genres, including: Caribbean focused and diverse, public service announcements (PSAs); Original long-form entertainment and public affairs programming; Complementary local programming developed by national and regional broadcasters; Regular news packages, and; Rights-free programming adapted for the campaign from international broadcast partners, including Black Entertainment Television (BET), MTV, among others.
Initiated only ten months ago, CBMP came together when top media executives from across the region met in Barbados with Kaiser Family Foundation, the Caribbean Broadcast Union and the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation -making a commitment to work together to create new, coordinated media initiatives to help stem the spread of HIV and fight AIDS-related stigma and discrimination in the region. CBMP member companies have agreed to dedicate at least 30 seconds every hour (12 minutes per day) to HIV/AIDS programming and messages.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) and its star players will support this historic effort by making HIV/AIDS the official health focus of the tournament. LIVE UP public service announcements will premiere at the opening of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007, and will be featured throughout the games.
In this hemisphere, The Caribbean is the region most affected by HIV/AIDS and is second only to sub-Saharan Africa in terms of the impact of the disease. AIDS is a leading cause of death among adults (ages 15-44) in the Caribbean, and 250,000 of the region's residents are living with HIV or AIDS. Half of those are women, and a third are young people between the ages of 15-24.
"HIV/AIDS is a Caribbean problem, and LIVE UP is an important step
forward in the Caribbean response," said Sir George Alleyne, UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Latin America and the Caribbean. "HIV/AIDS is part of our daily lives, and we must talk about it on television, on the radio, and at a regional event such as the Cricket World Cup."
All campaign programming encourages listeners and viewers to visit a new website (http://www.iliveup.com) to find information, local resources, and personal stories on HIV/AIDS and related issues.