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Fighting HIV in song

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Fighting HIV in song

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THERE IS a new social media-influenced song contest to promote messages aimed at combating HIV and AIDS infection and stigma across the Caribbean.
The Live UP I Like Muhself Caribbean Radio Song Contest for young people has been organized by the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS (CBMP) in association with Population Services International Caribbean supported by PANCAP (Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV & AIDS) and the German government.
During the launch on Tuesday, CBMP’s executive director, Dr Allyson Leacock, said the main purpose of the contest was to contribute to the improvement of sexual reproductive health in general and particularly to the reduction of transmission rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in the Caribbean.
“The selection of the YouTube channel for submissions of the video entries is designed to spark online engagement and creative effort among adolescents and young adults in the Caribbean surrounding the elimination of stigma and discrimination.
“Our young people are asked to develop social media products that will be disseminated on live and via mass media. The goal is to stimulate discussion among young people and direct them to services using products they have developed in the form and structure they appreciate,” Leacock said.
The radio song contest is open to 18 to 24-year-old non-professional residents of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Maarten, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
The competition has a first prize of US$2 500, a professional audio recording for broadcast on all 112 CBMP member stations in 24 countries rights-free and cost-free. The second-placed winner will receive US$2 000 and the third place US$1 000.
In delivering remarks, Minister of Youth and Sport Stephen Lashley lauded the initiative, which will become part of the arsenal in the fight against HIV and AIDS infection and stigma across the region.
The minister also commended the contest for the fact that the social media was the vehicle of choice for making submissions.
He said: “The use of the social media is also commendable because of its reach, especially when the targeted population is taken into consideration. This form of communication is quick and easy and allows young people to communicate with each other in a language that they can understand.”
Tuesday’s launch took place during Fireworks on Voice of Barbados. (AH)