A comprehensive mass media campaign aimed at bringing about behaviorual change with the theme “its your wicket protect it,” was today launched by Government’s National HIV/AIDS, Commission at the Hilton Barbados.

Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Carol Jacobs, said cricket was one of the really basic cultural things in Barbados and the region and the campaign was created to focus on such culture, while allowing the commission to also target select groups.

“HIV/AIDS is killing people in our productive age groups, between the ages of 20 to 54 year’s and it is for that reason that we cannot afford to take our eye off the ball. We need to ensure that everyone is protecting his/her wicket,” she stressed.

Dr Jacobs said she anticipated that some elements of the campaign would be scrutinised by the public, but such scrutiny would be welcomed. She told her audience: “I always say to the people in the commission, if we don’t get that (criticism) we are not doing anything. So, I hope when the comments come that you all will be part of the family that explains.  This is what we are trying to do, we want to get people’s attention”.

Behaviorual Change Communication Specialist, Marilyn Sealy, said the main aim of the campaign was to “prevent further HIV/AIDS infection among the population, and to effectively communicate the message that anyone can be infected, but that all should seek to, and can protect themselves”.

The elements of the campaign include: press advertisements; posters and billboards; television commercials; radio ads; and a jingle sung by Stetson Wiltshire and arranged and produced by Ian Alleyne.

Director of the Commission, Alies Jordan, pointed out that the campaign was intended to target at least 75,000 people.

“We are hoping that the cricketing public, and I use public loosely because the cricketing public are those who are actually going to Kensington and the Three W’s Oval; there are also those who are going to the sports bars and entertainment venues who don’t have tickets to go to the actual cricketing venues. So, we are hoping to target all of them,” she said.

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