|© UNICEF Lebanon/2005|
|Outline used by approximately 1,000 young people in Beirut to create a 4 by 40-metre AIDS-awareness ribbon.|
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 27 March 2006 – Earlier this month, 20 health professionals here completed an intensive, World Health Organization-sponsored training session on monitoring and evaluation of HIV/AIDS. While Lebanon is currently among the countries in the Middle East and North Africa with the lowest recorded prevalence of HIV, health experts say the small number of reported cases may be misleading due to the effects of stigma, discrimination and limited monitoring capacity. At this stage, raising public awareness about HIV and AIDS prevention, especially among young people, is considered vital to forestalling any wider threat.
Several events designed to raise awareness kicked off the UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE AGAINST AIDS campaign in Lebanon on World AIDS Day, last December 1. Two state-of-the-art UNICEF spots, created by the advertising firm Grey Worldwide, were launched that day and broadcast on seven local TV stations for a month. The ads featured the song ‘The Worst Thing’, created by pop musician Natalie Merchant and produced by Warner Music Group.
Messages for 2006
Eight nightclubs in Beirut that are regularly frequented by at-risk youth broadcast the two ads for a week following the launch. In addition, the clubs handed out the following materials:
The UNICEF ads were also shown during two concerts at the American University of Beirut and in Michel El Murr Stadium. Information on HIV/AIDS was distributed at the concerts as well.
A month before the campaign launch, a major ceremony involving UNICEF, seven NGOs and some 50 youth groups was organized at the Beirut Hall. The aim of the event was to create the world’s largest AIDS ribbon, 4 by 40 metres in size. Approximately 1,000 young men and women participated in creating the ribbon.
Play the two spots created for the launch of the campaign in Lebanon.
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