SBCC Summit to Explore Behavior Change Communication Strategies for HIV

A scene from Inside Story, an award-winning film about HIV to be screened at the Summit.

A scene from Inside Story, an award-winning film about HIV to be screened at the Summit.

A number of HIV-focused presentations to be given at the first-ever International SBCC Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 8-10, are worth taking note of for those attending, as well as those interacting online.

On Monday, February 8, Antje Becker-Benton and Warren Parker will hold a skills-building workshop on the Action Media methodology developed in the 1990s. This afternoon session should be very interesting and promises to engage attendees through cases studies as well as how the methodology can be applied to an individual’s work. As the term skills-building implies, attending this session should give you a good grasp of the methodology and allow you to think about how it may be useful in your own work going forward.

Other HIV presentations on Monday include one from Kiran Bam on micro-planning for HIV prevention in Nepal  as part of the panel Building Blocks: From Micro to Macro. I’m personally very interested to learn more about this and the process used to empower and engage outreach staff, something so important to the success of programs in remote areas, really in any area. The panel titled A Marvelous Mix of Methods will feature Paul Hutchinson, presenting an Economic Evaluation of and HIV/AIDS Behavior Change Communication Programme in Malawi, and Christina Wakefield, who will also look at Malawi with an outcome evaluation of the Safe Love Campaign.

Another panel Monday afternoon, Focus on Youth, will include Phinah Kodisang, presenting on young women’s clubs and social cohesion as part of Soul City, and Elizabeth Long, talking about resetting beliefs about HIV risk among South African teens, a very important strategy for making strides in reducing new infections.

Tuesday evening, two entertainment-education showcases with a focus on HIV should be very engaging and interesting. One is a locally produced film that looks at gender and HIV, while the second is a feature-length film titled Inside Story that explores how changing individual behavior can reduce HIV. Be sure to stick around that evening to check out one of them.

While a number of HIV presentations are being held Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday, February 10, is the day that I, as someone who works in the HIV field, am most looking forward to. The morning panel on Refining the Focus for HIV looks incredibly interesting, with a broad range of topics on multiple populations, such as migrant men, transgender women, MSM and men in general. Wednesday afternoon, Getting Men through the Door: Best Practices for VMMC will dive into how SBCC has been able to create demand for voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) in Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa by looking at specific campaigns used to reach men, their strategies, challenges and lessons learned. I’ll be moderating this panel so be sure to come check it out!

Along with HIV-specific presentations many of the tools and theories that will be presented are applicable to our work. I plan to make note of many strategies that have been used in other fields to see how they may then be applied to my work in HIV. The summit looks to be a great place for continued learning and sharing of ideas!

Click here for a complete list of HIV-focused sessions, and be sure to follow Summit updates via #SBCCSummit on Twitter and Facebook.

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