Condoms and Kabbadi

Building off of the momentum from a first campaign that reached 18 million men in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, a new effort — funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — will use the game of kabbadi as its medium:

The campaign’s TV advert shows a kabaddi match in which the protagonist wins the match against a macho team by chanting ‘condom’ instead of kabaddi… The campaign will run across TV, radio, cinema, outdoor and print over a six-week period… It will also feature an interactive element with an SMS poll in print media around the core message of the campaign.

By the end of the campaign, 48 million men are expected to be reached, with 6.5 million of them high risk individuals. While the method is no doubt unorthodox, research has shown that by forcing men to speak about condoms it is a significant affect on their choices with regard to practicing safe sex.

A baseline survey has already been carried out in the four target states to assess existing knowledge, attitudes and practices related to condoms.

An endline survey will be carried out at the end of the campaign to measure progress on increasing positive attitudes and changing behaviour around condom use among men.

Source: OneWorld South Asia

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Sex Worker Bank in Mumbai

Not exactly one of the most glamorous demographics to cater to, sex workers symbolize so much of what can be described as structural or systemic poverty. The squalor of the red-light districts in the urban areas of India do not provide much opportunity for the daughters of sex workers to escape the cycle of oppression and most end up following in their mothers’ footsteps.

Sangini Women’s Co-operative Bank aims to help these women break that cycle by providing savings accounts to the sex workers that can then be passed down to their children. As one sex worker laments:

“But earlier there was no way to save money. Even if you gave it for safekeeping to a shopkeeper or brothel manager, they would never return it.”

One of the interesting outgrowths of this newfound ability to save is that it provides the women a means to say no to clients that are unwilling to use or do not have condoms. Accordingly, these savings accounts give the opportunity to the women to protect themselves from HIV.

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