As The Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS (CBMP) celebrates its 10th anniversary, it salutes its partners Scotiabank and PANCAP and all the Ministries of Health in the Caribbean for its longest serving project: Regional Testing Day.
CBMP has achieved its tenth anniversary milestone operating in the region by sustaining an innovative and creative approach to raising the level of awareness about HIV testing for the past nine years. This has resulted in 70,000 people in 21 countries being tested through the Regional Testing Day initiative. The goal is to have tested at least 100,000 people in the Caribbean by 2017 when it will be the 10th anniversary for Regional Testing Day itself.
In the words of the CBMP Executive Director Dr. Allyson Leacock “Through the Annual Regional Testing Day activities, our collective efforts have contributed to increased awareness and participation while normalizing the process of having an HIV test”. She emphasizes that despite these successes, national and regional responses continue to be challenged by structural barriers, particularly stigma and discrimination that impede key affected populations such as gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender persons, sex workers and drug users’ access to prevention services including HIV testing.
The Partnership has worked tirelessly under the aegis of Scotiabank, the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) and Ministries of Health across the Caribbean. Scotiabank’s Senior Manager, Sponsorship and Philanthropy in Canada, Roy Rodriguez: “The partnerships between the CBMP, Scotiabank and the local governmental entities is a shining example of what is possible when complementary organisations leverage their strengths towards a common goal uniting the media reach of the CBMP network, the medical resources of the local governments, and the community reach of the Scotiabank along with the support of Scotiabank volunteers”
CBMP was established at an inaugural summit with 30 top broadcasters in the region on May 26, 2006 at the Barbados Hilton. The summit was coordinated by the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation and the Caribbean Broadcasting Union. Funding and technical support came from the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Ford Foundation whose commitment to the CBMP ensured its funding and sustainability in its first 6 years.
The Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS has made a significant impact in the Caribbean not only with its behaviour change campaign LIVE UP but in building multiple partnerships to address the complex drivers of the HIV epidemic and subsequently expanding its focus to include Gender Based Violence, Trafficking in Persons and the ever present stigma and discrimination.
The hard work and dedication of this partnership has resulted in a number of major achievements working with many to endorse the LIVE UP message:
- In 2012 three World and Olympic Champions: Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Yohan Blake, all from Jamaica, threw their considerable support behind the CBMP’s LIVE UP Campaign which is well known across the region.
- Other Sports stars supporting LIVE UP have included: NBA MVP Adonal Foyle from St. Vincent, West Indies Cricket Captains Darren Sammy and Stefanie Taylor, Barbados Motor Racing Rally Stars Paul ‘Surfer’ Bourne and Barry Mayers.
- 100 Entertainment celebrities over the last 10 years have also endorsed the LIVE UP Campaign; among them Bajan artistes Lil Rick, Alison Hinds, Edwin Yearwood, Terencia Coward, Rupee, Biggie Irie, Tamara Marshall, Mahalia Cummins, Chrystal Cummins-Beckles and Buggy Nkente. Regional entertainers like Tanya Stephens, Etana, Tarrus Riley, Beenie Man, Bunji Garlin, Fae Ann Lyons, Maxi Priest and Wyclef Jean to name a few.
- 2000 broadcasters across the region have been trained on HIV coverage,
- A total of over 250 news features broadcast on LIVE UP: The Show on HIV stigma and discrimination and Prevention have been distributed across the Caribbean.
- The LIVE UP YouTube Channel and LIVE UP Campaign Facebook Page have been a key resource.
The establishment of strategic partnerships has been another hallmark of the success of the CBMP. Regional Telecoms conglomerate Digicel worked with CBMP to launch an SMS campaign in the early years and provided a downloadable ringtone of the campaign jingle to extend reach of campaign resources. Digicel also pushed a LIVE UP message on Digicel mobile handsets in a pilot project in 4 countries for World AIDS The CBMP through its LIVE UP campaign, also collaborated with the International Cricket Council (ICC) for Cricket World Cup 2007 and World Twenty/Twenty cricket 2010 & 2012.
Partnerships with UNESCO, UNAIDS, UNWOMEN, UNFPA, UNICEF, PSI Caribbean, Futures Group, PANCAP and the Globla Fund have all produced LIVE UP campaigns, feature programmes, YouTube competitions, Reporter’s Manuals and a Broadcasters’ interactive tool as well as an online game and an app.
All of this was done with the support of the Media Partnership established by the CBMP, which comprises a network of 112 Partner stations in 24 Partner Countries whose donated airtime to LIVE UP programmes and messages is modestly valued at US$15 million. None of this could have been achieved without the media.
ABOUT THE CBMP
The Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS (CBMP), founded in 2006, unites 112 top broadcasters from 24 countries in the region’s first coordinated media response to the pandemic. The Partnership creates a structured framework for sharing information and resources among broadcasters that significantly expands HIV/AIDS-related programming and public education activities across the Caribbean.
Member broadcasters deliver HIV/AIDS information free of charge, across a variety of platforms and formats, including targeted public service announcements (PSAs), entertainment, news and public affairs programming, and online resources.
In March 2007, the CBMP launched its campaign LIVE UP: Love. Protect. Respect., – an innovative cross-cutting brand that is the first media-led campaign on HIV/AIDS to reach across the entire Caribbean with one message of hope and possibility in an age of HIV and AIDS. Its core components – radio and television public service ads (PSAs) and the www.iliveup.info website, Facebook Page and YouTube Channel – inspire audiences, especially young people, to consider what is within their power to do to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS. For more information, visit http://www.thecbmp.org and www.iliveup.info.