Community Media/COL/Focus Areas/Health/HIV AIDS Treatment Literacy

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Background / Overview

COL has a very interesting activity in development with other international partners and community radio groups in Africa.

The basic premise is that with some support, community media could expand and improve the type of programming they run that covers health and HIV/AIDS in particular.

We want to gradually:

  1. facilitate discussion among key (Africa and Caribbean) community radio groups and individuals with counterparts working in HIV/AIDS to scope and plan;
  2. facilitate engagement between community media and community AIDS groups at all levels, from international to the community itself, as one of the primary strategies
  3. identify and post useful resources on the wiki;
  4. develop learning activities for community media and advocates on HIV/AIDS issues (and visa versa); and
  5. plan dynamic workshops to bring the two constituencies together (community media (radio to start) with AIDS groups, especially those with a community health focus; these workshops will result in new skills, new networks, new materials and, most importantly, new programmes on-air to reach communities
  6. move from pilot initiatives to follow-up programmes involving an increasing number of stations in Africa, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific in coming years

Key upcoming milestones for this work - Pan African Community Radio Conference in Ivory Coast in April 2009 -- we propose to run the first workshop there - Pathogenesis, Treatment & Prevention conference in Cape Town in 2009 (prospective) - International AIDS conference in Vienna in 2010 (prospective)

- (Source: Ian Pringle, COL))

Proposed Curricula: HIV AIDS Treatment Literacy


Treatment literacy and community preparedness are subcomponents of broader treatment education as defined by UNESCO and WHO: “Treatment education encourages people to know their HIV status, explains how to get access to treatment, offers information on drug regimens, offers support and ideas for adhering to treatment and helping others to do so, emphasises the importance of maintaining protective behaviours and healthy living, and suggests strategies for overcoming stigma and discrimination and gender inequality” (UNESCO/WHO, 2005). Treatment education is not only the responsibility of the health sector, and should also include other sectors such as education, as education institutions often can reach further into communities around the world (UNAIDS Inter Agency Task Team on Education, 2006). Treatment literacy means people, both individually and in communities understand what anti-retroviral drugs are, why they are needed and what they can and cannot do. Treatment literacy translates medical information about Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) into languages and formats that are accessible to everyone.


Organisations advocating and campaigning to ensure universal access to ART, such as the Treatment Action Campaign, International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (IPTC), and UNAIDS describe the treatment literacy programming as inadequate and advocate for increased resources. In a 2006 report of a six country survey, ITPC said, “ART awareness campaigns are often passive, uncoordinated, inappropriate, irregular and ineffective… and appear to have little effect on eliminating misinformation among both HIV positive and HIV negative people about the disease or ART” (ITPC, 2005). The impact of misinformation and myths on the success of ART programmes can be devastating if the drugs are distributed to the population without any education. There are many cases where people observe side effects of drugs in friends, family members and colleagues and are fearful of ART. The effects of lack of communication and information can lead to increased stigma and discrimination, and contribute to a lack of adherence to ART.

Treatment Literacy Strategies

  • Counselling, testing, and treatment awareness
  • Partnership with people living with HIV
  • Prevention and Treatment
  • Anti-retroviral treatment
  • Adherence
  • Symptoms and Illness
  • Nutrition and Health
  • Combating stigma and discrimination
  • Advocacy

Training Materials


  • Aligned to Media for Learning, COL's objectives, Media for Learning and our Workshop Planning Process
  • Development of Case Study / Model
  • Allows for culturally-relevant inputs, contextualisation and localisation
  • Designed and delivered by (geographic) cluster of Trainer-Facilitators


  • initial materials provided by AIDS partners

Potential partners / Assistance

  • Caribbean HIV/AIDS Alliance (referred by Liz Terry, HEART NTA)
  • Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver - ODL assistance


    • Using HIV AIDS Treatment Literacy as a Topic Area
  • Geographic cluster of Trainer-Facilitators (i.e., support team to learners and to each other)
    • Trainer-facilitators (cluster) develop a launch and roll-out programme - re: developing effective learning programmes on HIV AIDS Treatment Literacy in their communities
    • Focus on culturally relevant training/awareness building materials - Caribbean
    • Focus on Community Radio


  • Wiki Skills Training (online, f2f)
  • Intro to HIV AIDS Treatment Literacy (online to start)

Intro to HIV AIDS Treatment Literacy

  • a 3-5 day ODL course (online) for Community Radio Practitioners, and interested parties
  • course to be taken by all Trainer-Facilitators

Course Development

Subject matter experts (potential ideas only) provide HIV AIDS Treatment Literacy expertise

  • Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa
  • i-Base
  • ITPC

Trainer-Facilitators provide community and cultural inputs into course design and launch process, including

  • contextualised locally in culturally appropriate and relevant ways - Caribbean focus (i.e., language, images, audio / video inputs)
  • interactive discussions and mutual learning
  • visual mapping component
  • community linkages, regional networking

Course Delivery

  • facilitated by Trainer-Facilitators
  • engaging learners in the context of their communities and HIV AIDS treatment literacy

Outputs & Outcomes


  • No. of people trained
  • No. of stations trained
  • No. of students participating in HIV AIDS Treatment literacy
  • No. of learning materials initiated and / or produced by learners in Intro to HIV AIDS Treatment Literacy course
  • No. of learning programmes on HIV AIDS Treatment literacy


  • TBD