International Soap Opera Producers Aim to Provide HIV/AIDS Education
Offering a "daily dose of encouragement for the behavioral changes that ... will create a better world," multinational organization Soap Operas for Social Change aims to "lac[e] entertainment with role models whose trials and tribulations mirror the everyday lives of listeners and viewers in developing nations," the Los Angeles Times reports. The project is an "international cross-breeding of philanthropy, development aid and local media talent" and uses the airwaves to educate a wide audience on a host of social issues ranging from teen pregnancy and AIDS to changing the "marked preference" for male babies in China. Hans Fleisch, head of the German Foundation for World Population, explained, "With hundreds of millions of people in the world living in trauma ... there will never be enough resources to provide individual therapies, which is why television presents such a great opportunity to convey an important message." Production Executive Primus Guenou, from Togo, recently approached the U.S.-based Population Communications International -- which operates Soaps for Social Change as its core development aid program -- about collaborating on a soap opera to educate Africans about AIDS prevention. PCI President David Andrews confirmed that the AIDS crisis in Africa will be his organization's "next big priority" and said he wishes to partner with local broadcast producers in Africa for this effort (Williams, Los Angeles Times, 4/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.