We have chosen not to start a family right now

Date: January 1, 1970
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The advertisement shows two people who are living positively, and shares their choices about having children.

The article can be used to:
1.      Show gender awareness and balance in advertisements.
2.      Show advertisements that highlight the importance of testing for HIV and knowing one’s HIV status.
3.      Raise discussions on importance of couple communication and disclosing HIV status.
4.      Highlight advertisements that show couples that have disclosed their status and are living positively with HIV.
5.      Educate people about prevention of parent-to-child-transmission of HIV.
6.      Educate people about preventing re-infection.
Trainers Notes
The advertisers made of pictures to attract people and to make the advert more authentic. Names also make the advert real, believable and authentic. There are smiles on the people’s faces to show that they a happy couple and use of the words like “we,” “together,” and “our,” imply that there is no blaming each other but it’s the responsibility of the couple to make choices. It makes them equal and no one dominates the other. Language used also portrays that couples are free to make decisions and choices once they have information. Language used is gender sensitive.
Discussion Questions
  1. Ask participants what they think of the advertisement. Is it gender aware or gender blind?
  2. Can a couple living with HIV have sex and children? Is it good or bad?
  3. What is re-infection?
  4. How can a couple with HIV prevent unwanted pregnancy and re-infection.
  5. What is the impression of the couple.
  6. Is it possible for an HIV positive mother to deliver a baby who is HIV negative. If so, how can this be done, if not give reasons.
  7. Who do you think the advertisers were trying to target? Have they reached their target group in an engaging way? 8.       Ask participants why they think the names were included? Would there be a difference if there were names or no names?
  8. Ask participants that if there was a picture of a man only or woman only, would the meaning of the advert change?
Training exercises
  1. Before showing the advertisement to the group, show them only the image of the couple, ask them what impression they have. After giving them the whole advertisement, ask them if their ideas change, knowing they are living with HIV.
  2. Break into two groups. Critique the advertisement. What is the intended message and is it passing on the intended message? Are there any unintended, negative messages?
  3. Visit a VCT centre, find out about positive living and family planning for couples living with HIV. Write a commentary piece.
  4. For some people, disclosure is a very big step. Draw up a list of considerations that people must prepare for, if they were going to be in an advertisement like this.  
Links to other training resources
Whose news, whose views: A Gender and Media Handbook for Southern Africa Media
Picture our Lives, Gender and Images in Southern Africa, Chapter three: Sex, Gender and Stereotypes
HIV and AIDS and Gender Baseline Study
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