Sex is not a game

Campaign for prevention of HIV/AIDS among Adolescents between the ages of 10 and 14.

The earlier an adolescent becomes sexually active, the more partners they tend to have, and are subsequently at higher risk of contracting a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) or HIV/AIDS. Many Dominican children and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 14 have already started having sexual relations at a time when they are not yet ready to deal with the consequences and responsibilities that accompany this decision.

A recent study (PSI/Gallup, 2004) found that the most significant factor that differentiates between adolescents who have started having sexual relations and those who haven’t is the level of communication that they enjoy with their parents or guardians. Young people who learn most of what they know about reproductive health from their mothers or fathers have a much lower chance of starting to engage in sexual relations at an early age.

For this reason, Population Services International (PSI) and the Department for the Control of Sexual Transmissions and AIDS (DIGECITSS) have been working jointly during the last six months with technical and financial support from UNICEF, running two HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns aimed at adolescents between the ages of 10 and 14 and their parents and guardians.

General Objective:
To delay the age of sexual initiation among Dominican adolescents.

Specific Objectives:

To increase the percentage of adolescents who have discussed sexual health issues with their parents or guardians.
To increase the percentage of adolescents who say they have not had sexual relations because they “are not ready”.
To increase the percentage of adolescents who say that being a virgin can be a positive thing.

Preparatory research:
Before launching the campaign, a series of focus group discussions were held with adolescents of both sexes and their parents and guardians from the lower-middle socio-economic class. The groups were segmented according to sex, age (10-12; 13-15; 16-18; parents) and they explored the experiences of the adolescents themselves, the social pressures that they were feeling, and their needs in terms of information or support. The results (PSI/CIAM, 2005) enabled the identification of the language commonly used by the adolescents and their parents, providing a basis for the creative development of the campaign.

© UNICEF RD/L.Gonzalez/2006

Campaign development
A creative brief was prepared and a tender process was launched with advertising agencies. Mabalo Publicity was chosen for its creative ideas for developing the campaign aimed at young people, and Leo Burnett for developing the campaign aimed at parents. All the creative ideas and campaign materials were tested with the respective target audiences during the campaign development phase. Non-governmental and governmental organisations working with adolescents also took part in validating and revising all the campaign materials.

Campaign aimed at Adolescents
Designed specifically for adolescents between the ages of 10 and 14, the campaign includes the language and experiences of a group of friends expressed as cartoon characters. The campaign also uses the reggaeton musical genre with a track by popular singer Don Miguelo. The messages in all the materials emphasise the idea of waiting until one is ready, resisting peer pressure from friends, boyfriends, girlfriends or relatives, recognising the consequences of sexual relations, and speaking to parents about sex.

“Sex is not a game”
The campaign consists of:
 2 “Parque Tropical” television and radio spots
 Reggaeton song by Don Miguelo
 Video clip with Don Miguelo
 “Parque Tropical” Billboard
 Stickers (2 versions)
 Posters (3 versions)
 Information leaflet
Campaign aimed at parents and guardians
The campaign for parents was designed to provoke a reaction amongst adults with responsibility for young people and adolescents (fathers, mothers or guardians), so that they make a point of speaking to their children about sexuality. The creative work ensured that the messages would not go unnoticed.

“Speak to your children about sex:  Silence Is Worse”
The campaign consists of:
 Mimo TV Spot
 2 radio spots
 Billboards (3 versions)
 Posters (3 versions)
 Information leaflet

Campaign diffusion
Both campaigns have been disseminated through the national media and groups working with adolescents and their parents, since February 2006. All the campaign materials refer to the national AIDS information helpline, which is staffed by trained counsellors who can answer questions and refer parents and adolescents to additional support services. There is also a reference website ( where they can obtain more information and access the campaign materials.





Campaign Resources

All the educational and audio-visual campaign  resources are only available in Spanish.

See them in Spanish


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