Population Services International (PSI)/Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO) Belize works on HIV/AIDS prevention using targeted research and social marketing strategies in the areas of behaviour change communication (BCC) and product sales to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and foster sexual and reproductive health in communities throughout Belize.
Since 1999, PSI/PASMO Belize has focused its resources primarily on at-risk and vulnerable populations by developing tailored strategies to reach each respective group, including female sex workers (FSW), clients of female sex workers, males at risk (MAR) - including men who have sex with men (MSM), and youth at risk (YAR). For example, the "Got It? Get It." GIGI campaign was created as a tool to reach both youth and vulnerable groups.
PSI/PASMO Belize conducts research on and programmes using BCC with at-risk populations including FSWs, clients of FSWs, MAR, MSM, and the Garifuna, an ethnic group located in Southern Belize.
Its GIGI campaign promotes the social norm of consistent condom use and accessibility, while promoting a safe and friendly environment wherever the GIGI logo exists. The PSI/PASMO condom marketing and distribution effort works to reach vulnerable populations through distribution points at such locations as local bars, brothels, and motels. In addition to social marketing through public service announcements on radio and television and in print, the organisation uses consumer education, and provider training.
For the New Masculinity Campaign, begun in 2008 and based on research performed among men ages 18 to 50-years-old, PASMO intended to confront the traditional idea of “Machismo” and contrast it with the reality of men’s self perceptions in today’s culture. The campaign used the men's profiles to provide alternatives to the traditional views of masculinity and linked each profile to different styles of HIV/AIDS prevention. Four television spots were filmed in English with Belizean actors for use in Belize.
Additionally, PSI/PASMO Belize conducts BCC programmes focused on local youth, in partnership with local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and faith-based organisations (FBOs). PSI/PASMO Belize provides local NGOs, hospitals, and the Ministry of Health with training to reduce stigma and discrimination in programmes of voluntary counselling and testing (VCT).
In an effort to reach beyond Belize, in July 2011 at Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival, the GIGI campaign launched a competition to find its next GIGI Brand Ambassador and to solicit entries of video shorts on HIV/AIDS prevention. “Talk Nah! Say what you have to say!” is the name of the effort asking community activists aged 18-30 throughout the Caribbean to create 3-minute videos sharing how they would change the face of HIV in the region if given the opportunity to do so. Click here to view posted entries.
HIV, Reproductive Health.
PSI/PASMO Belize promotes condoms through both social marketing and distribution. It distributes condoms and lubricants to distributors and points of sale. In addition, it uses training of local non-governmental organisations and health workers to increase stigma-free services for vulnerable populations.
PSI/PASMO Belize estimates that in 2010, more than 238.20 Disability-Adjusted Life Year (DALYS - a World Bank-developed metric used in the field of public health) were earned due to sales and free distribution of male condoms, female condoms and lubricants, and the provision of sexual and reproductive health services.
Belize National HIV/AIDS Commission, Belize Ministry of Health, PASCA (Programa para Fortalecer la Respuesta Centroamericana al VIH - Porgramme to Strengthen the Central American Response to HIV/AIDS) and CAPACITY, Belize Family Life Association (BFLA) – local International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) affiliate, Productive Organisation for Women in Action (POWA), Women’s Issues Network (WIN), National Advocacy Working Group (NAWG), Belize Red Cross, Peace Corps, HIV/AIDS Alliance (AAA), the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The PSI/Pasmo Belize website, August 25 2011.