Issue #: 
December 20, 1999

Whatever your choice of celebration in this festive season, The Communication Initiative wishes you a meaningful and enjoyable time. Happy....

These celebrations often focus on tolerance, acceptance, justice, understanding, love, family and friendship. This Drum Beat focuses on the critical issue of eliminating the stigma and discrimination often associated with people living with HIV/AIDS. It presents some examples of people and organisations communicating to ensure that the principles and beliefs behind our celebrations include all in our communities, at all times of the year.


NOTE: Some information in this Drum Beat comes from the UNAIDS Best Practice materials. See reference below. Contact Bunmi Makinwa

1. AIDS Law Project - South Africa - An advocacy and education project that seeks to prevent discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS and promote a culture of human rights and equity for all. Carries out litigation, offers free legal advice, undertakes research for policy formulation and produces awareness increasing media for lobbying and advocacy. Works to empower people living with discrimination. Contact: Mark Heywood

2. Project Hope - Brazil - Seeks to change attitudes of the public towards people living with HIV/AIDS through educational programmes and to increase the hopeful attitudes of those living with HIV/AIDS. Works through personal support and training to address stigma and discrimination issues in São Paulo. Educational programmes included training for volunteers and talks in and out of schools. Contact: Americo Nuñes Neto [See UNAIDS Best Practices]

3. "Karnival Riben Merah" - Malaysia - The "Red Ribbon Carnival" has been held by the Malaysian AIDS Foundation every year since 1994. By combining AIDS educational elements with cultural, sporting and entertainment events it seeks to raise levels of support and compassion for people living with HIV/AIDS. Contact: Indra K Nadchatram

4. Street Theatre Project - India - Mime, movement and dance in local areas are used to fight against discrimination of people living with HIV/AIDS. The main goals are to develop awareness and promote more open discussion of taboo sexual health practices and HIV/AIDS. Seeks to decrease the overall stigma towards people living with the virus. Contact: Barrie Ireton

5. Tateni Home Care Services - South Africa - A non-discriminatory, non-judgmental organisation that aims to ensure home-based care is provided in Mamelodi for HIV+ patients, involving family members. Addresses discrimination within the community. The group provides counselling and support services for HIV infected persons, implements affordable, accessible, equitable and efficient home-based care, enhances the collective capacity of the community and enables and empowers ancillary health careers. Contact: Veronica Khoza

6. Open Game - Uruguay - an interactive project that opens dialogue and increases awareness of HIV/AIDS issues through versatile games used in training courses, workshops, seminars and advisory groups. Seeks to attack the roots of discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS. The games change according to socio-cultural conditions and rely on the prejudices, practices, experiences and attitudes of the people participating. Contact: Juan José Meré,

7. "Wind Blows Through Light and Dark" - Vietnam - Propaganda regarding the origins and transmission of HIV/AIDS was dispelled and positive HIV/AIDS role models were promoted through this Vietnamese television drama. Social and educational information was presented through entertainment to reach key target groups and decrease stigma among them. Contact: School of Public Health, Hanoi Medical University

8. Persian & Armenian HIV/AIDS Media Awareness Project - Australia - seeks to decrease stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV/AIDS by actively incorporating principles of cultural diversity and social justice into community based advocacy, surveys and radio programmes. Addresses the attitudinal & educational understandings of HIV/AIDS and risk behaviours. Contact: Michael West

9. Harm Reduction and HIV - Belarus - a programme for injecting drug users that made an important shift in communication tactics towards creating an undiscriminating, supportive environment for drug users. In combination with outreach work, a needle exchange and harm reduction education, the programme decreased the number of young drug users and the amount of social tension and stigma. Contact: Natalia Petrovna Firsova [see UNAIDS Best Practices ]

10. Chirumhanzu Home-Based Care Project - Zimbabwe - This project takes a comprehensive approach to care including not only the medical needs of those living with HIV/AIDS, but also the social and emotional needs of patients and family members. By promoting HIV awareness and prevention, and building upon African traditions of family support and mutual obligation, the profile of persons living with HIV in the community is raised, effectively decreasing stigmatization. Performing at village meetings, a drama group is the primary means of increasing awareness and prevention of HIV/AIDS. Contact: Etta Dendere [ See UNAIDS Best Practices]


11. Positive Action - grew from a partnership between Glaxo International and HIV/AIDS Communities. Designed to provide ongoing access to information about Positive Action activities and provide a discussion forum to assist in formulating new ideas for future projects and areas of collaboration. The group focuses on education, care and community support to provide action based on partnership, working closely with affected communities and others to ensure resources are harnessed in the most productive manner. Click here for website.

12. On-Line Discussion Fora - email and web based: A range of issue-based HIV/AIDS discussion fora are facilitated by The Fondation de Present. These include a focus on stigma and discrimination. Click here for website. Contact Tim France

13. Humsafar Trust - India - Started in 1994, this is India's first openly gay organization helping self-identified gay men and men-having-sex-with-men to come to terms with their sexuality, counselling problems, including HIV/AIDS, and informing the public about the world of gay men. Click here for website.


14. Towards Better Practice - Titled "European Partnerships in HIV/AIDS Research, Policy, Prevention and Care", the mission of the Third European Conference is firstly to improve the quality of life of people with HIV/AIDS from all perspectives, and secondly to contribute to prevention of spread of HIV. Contact Martin van Oostrom

15. The Oasis Positive Living Conference took place in Florida, USA, from October 15 - 17. The intent was to provide the latest information on treatments modalities, research and living with HIV/AIDS designed to reach persons living with HIV/AIDS, and to sensitize caregivers and professionals working with persons living with HIV/AIDS.


16. Using empirical data on AIDS related discrimination and human rights violations, APN+ (Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS) and the Human Rights project research team presented a report on multi-city participatory action on AIDS and human rights in the Asia -Pacific region. Through a participatory consultative process the perspective of the people was included, leading to findings determining the scope of future advocacy and intervention projects in the region. Contact: Joe Thomas

17. Discussion Paper - The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and Canadian AIDS Society produced a paper designed to "stimulate increased awareness of HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination and to further discussion and deliberation on how to respond to HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination" Contact: contact Ralf Jürgens

18. HIV and Discrimination: A Resource Manual - This "Handbook for Resolving Problems" is for both PLWHAs and advocates, helping to identify and take action against discrimination by providing information, courses of action, and sample letters and forms. Contact: John La Bella


email for copies or see their web site at click here.

19. "Summary of Booklet of Best Practices" - Issue no.1 - June 1999 - produced by UNAIDS - includes examples of programmes related to stigma and discrimination.

20. "Gender and HIV/AIDS: Taking stock of research and programmes" -looks at current research and programmatic responses to address gender, vulnerability and impact alleviation in the context of HIV/AIDS. by the International Centre for Research on Women.

21. "Handbook for Legislators on HIV/AIDS, Law and Human Rights - action to combat HIV/AIDS in view of it's Devestating Human, Economic and Social Impact". Includes: Annotated international guidelines; Law Review, Reform and Support Services; and, Promotion of a Supportive and Enabling Environment.


Many thanks to those all those who provided materials and contributed to feedback on this issue. This Drum Beat researched and edited by Brooke Hayes.