Media campaign for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) was launched in Marc 2005 and concluded at the end of the same year.

Partners and sponsors: Open Society Foundation Hungary, World Bank, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, NEXTCap Advertising through movie director Radu Muntean.

Campaign slogan: “Chose your child’s life!”

Estimated number of beneficiaries: over 2 million;

The goal of this campaign was to inform pregnant women in partner counties and to encourage voluntary HIV counseling and testing for them and their partners in order to reduce the HIV vertical transmission rate.

The campaign was developed in partnership with 22 maternities and obstetrics-gynecology hospitals in 18 counties (Arad, Bacau, Bihor, Brasov, Bucharest, Cluj, Constanta, Giurgiu, Hunedoara, Iasi, Ilfov, Maramures, Mures, Neamt, Sibiu, Suceava, Timis and Valcea). The starting point was the observation that, although HIV testing for pregnant women is free in Romania (according to the Ministry of Health Order 889 / 1989), a large number of pregnant women come to deliver their babies without having taken the HIV test.

These women often belong to high HIV risk, therefore their counseling and testing is essential for the early diagnosis of a possible HIV infection and for effective use of the PMTCT protocol.

During the project, we tried to identify ways for information dissemination, especially to pregnant women who didn’t usually access specialized medical care during pregnancy or for those who did not respond to written messages. Thus a new component of the project was born – the media campaign.

Campaign objectives:

  1. to inform pregnant women hospitalized in maternities about the positive outcomes of taking the HIV test;
  2. to raise awareness and to improve the qualifications of medical professionals with regard to mother-to-child HIV prevention;
  3. to encourage voluntary HIV counseling and testing of pregnant women in order to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases;
  4. to increase non-discriminatory access to medical and social care for HIV positive pregnant women and to ensure that the whole set of prevention measures for HIV vertical transmission is provided.

This campaign targeted women aged 18 to 40 who wanted to have children. The estimated target group was of about 3.441.000 women, from both urban and rural areas.

Main activities:

  1. designing and printing campaign information materials together with NEXTCap (creative agency that offered their services pro-bono);

3 TV and spots and one for radio were produced for broadcasting by local and national media; they were pre-tested during a focus-group, on 10 women from the target audience;

  1. producing an educational 15 minutes short-film. The film underlined the importance and positive outcomes of HIV testing for pregnant women and the social side of the HIV epidemics (discrimination towards HIV positive people). The film was recorded on VHS (500 copies) and CD (1.000 copies) and offered to partner maternities and other organizations in the field.
  2. 22 maternities from 18 counties were selected: Arad, Bacau, Bihor, Brasov, Bucharest, Cluj, Constanta, Giurgiu, Hunedoara, Iasi, Ilfov, Maramures, Mures, Neamt, Sibiu, Suceava, Timis and Valcea.
  3. The partner hospitals received video and TV equipments, according to the needs identified.
  4. The selected maternities played the educational movie at an average of once a day. Around 25.000 hospitalized women saw the film during the campaign.
  5. Media campaign – it was launched on march 31st 2005 with a press conference attended by 30 guests: partners, representatives of other organizations and journalists. The campaign ended in January 2006.

The media approach and the results were promoted during 38 meetings organized by Romanian Angel Appeal with journalists, within the projects “Social responsibility in the media” financed by Open Society Foundation Hungary and “PMTCT Rural” financed by World Bank as well as within the projects financed by the Global Fund. Seven press articles were also published.

The TV spots were broadcasted by 6 TV channels (ProTV, Acasa, TVR1, TVR2, TVR Cultural, MIX 2 TV – Brasov), one per day between 7AM and 5PM, with an estimated audience of 1.631.034 women who had seen the spots at least once.

The radio spot was broadcasted by 12 radio stations, on an average of twice per day (together with radio contests with prizes offered through the Voluntary Counseling and Testing Project financed by the Global Fund). 35 prizes per radio station were offered: a T-shirt, a bandana, a marker, condoms and information materials.

  1. production and distribution of information materials for the target group and promotional merchandise;
  2. launch of the information phone-line set up by RAA for those interested in learning more about the HIV infection, positive outcomes of HIV counseling and testing, useful contacts (mainly counseling and testing centers);

The campaign had a significant impact not only through the messages it sent but also because it as one of the first campaigns developed in Romania where the quality / cost ratio was clearly in favor of quality.

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