INSIDE STORY: THE SCIENCE OF HIV/AIDS is a media-based education initiative designed to reach and engage the sub-Saharan African public at all levels about the basic science of HIV/AIDS. The centerpiece is a unique feature-length film that combines the exciting, fictional story of a rising soccer star, with a fact-based, animated journey inside the human body to unravel the mysteries of HIV. INSIDE STORY’s goal is to demonstrate the science of how HIV works in a way that is personal, practical, and memorable. For many, this will be a first look at HIV inside the body and antiretroviral therapies at work.
Stakeholders engaged in the struggle against HIV are looking for effective tools that will cut through HIV message fatigue and advance and support a variety of HIV interventions. Initial focus group testing in four countries found INSIDE STORY successful and useful across ages, genders and various levels of literacy and education.
With no other African media project focused on bringing this information to the public, INSIDE STORY has a unique opportunity to make a tremendous impact, providing NGOs, CBOs, governments, etc., with a valuable tool to scale up education, prevention, and treatment efforts.
Status Update: This innovative approach was developed in collaboration with a diverse coalition of experts, scientists and activists. Research, treatment, and script testing was conducted by the Centre for AIDS Development Research and Evaluation (CADRE). Principle photography was completed in July and August in Johannesburg, South Africa and Malindi, Kenya. Postproduction (including animation sequences reviewed by content advisors and scientists) is well underway. Recent focus group testing of a rough cut of the film was very positive. Seeing various aspects of the HIV lifecycle (ex. the moment of HIV infection and how condoms work) gave audiences a completely new understanding of HIV. They spoke specifically about how this new perspective would impact their behavior. Premiere events are being planned around World AIDS Day 2011 with wide release across Africa in early 2012.
Current donor partners include PEPFAR, Chevron, Access Bank, SEACOM, UNAIDS and Discovery Communications.
Distribution: Theatric, free-to-air broadcast by 29 broadcasters, and grassroots/NGO distribution will reach an estimated 300 million people throughout sub-Saharan Africa. NGO partners include CARE, YouthAIDS, GrassrootSoccer, World AIDS Campaign, Johns Hopkins, national governments, and many more. Facilitator guides are being developed and will be integrated into the DVD packaging. The website www.insidestorythemovie.org will be a home for the film, downloadable facilitator guides, and an area to share screening locations and best practices.
Evaluation will be conducted by CADRE and include quantitative and qualitative methods to assess INSIDE STORY’s impact on audiences’ understanding of the science of HIV/AIDS, as well as the impact of this tool on existing HIV interventions and behavior change.