Thursday, August 18, 2005


The UNICEF recently organised a workshop to create awareness amongst young people on HIV and AIDS. The participants were students, journalists musicians and radio jockeys - essentially people in a postion to spread the message and hopefully influence change.

At the workshop a DJ from Washington D C, George Collinet, said, "The first message we need to send out is abstinence."

"But is that a realistic message in these times?", I asked him.

He replied, "We need to make abstinence sexy. Thats the challenge."

Cyrus Broacha, supremely funny MTV VJ, was there too. I asked him if he agreed with George's point of view. In characteristic Cyrus style, he said, "Whoever said we need to make abstinence sexy has been drinking. Abstinence is good... all the girls I knew practiced it. But nobody is going to listen if you preach to them!"

If George manages to make abstinence sexy someday he would have pulled off the impossible. And that will be great. But for now I think i agree with Cyrus.


Bala (Karthik) said...

To me, somehow this high-profile "thing" celebs seem to be doing to promote AIDS awareness looks like barking up thw wrong tree. I don't have statistics at hand, but its the rural and semi-urban areas that should be the target of these campaigns. Truck-drivers, sex-workers, illeterate masses are the ones who need the awareness. Disco-goers, city college kids etc are the peoples who'd be the at the bottom of the priority list.
To come back to your specific point, i guess i'll have to agree :)

Anonymous said...

I guess Bala is right. I think it makes sense. Rural areas ought to be targeted as well.

But then again, what would be the use of celebs going to the villages. No one knows them there. It will be as good as any urban guy going and spreading the message.

I should mention the efforts of All India Radio in this regard. In the last cricket broadcast I noticed how much they had stepped up the HIV related messages between the time gaps available. I think thats a very sensible thing to do. Using cricket adspace for HIV related campaigns on the Radio.

Bala (Karthik) said...

"But then again, what would be the use of celebs going to the villages"
That's exactly what i meant :)

Anonymous said...

:) Bala, am like a tube-light :P

Madhavan said...

Abstinence used to be sexy, until the media raped the concept, I suspect.
Like a share price rigged in the stock market, there is a widespread belief that no-one is abstanining...and no-one wants to be left out.
*sigh*. I wish I knew the truth.

Alaphia Zoyab said...

Hi Indian Media - I think lots of people do abstain. But how do you mean the media raped the concept of abstinence?

Chetan said...

hi alaphia,

"the media raped the concept of abstinence"
i guess thats a very extreme view taken but what he/she means is that the media is trying to manipulate ppl for its own gain. just yesterday some survey results were published stating that indians on an average have their first sexual encounter at 19. and guess who was the sponsor of the survey. Durex!!! so i guess the media through the art of subtle persuasion actually send out the message to the ppl and youth in general that if you are not getting it then you are an exception , a loser etc etc.