“Odisha is one of the states in India that is known as a hot zone for this disease. Unfortunately, due to the stigma attached, infected persons are not reaching out for basic help. Therefore, we must come together as a state to educate our people about AIDS… As the TeachAIDS animation says, “let’s work together” to spread the message on HIV prevention!” – Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha
In 2010, the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) of India formally approved the TeachAIDS animations to help manage the AIDS epidemic in the country. Currently, the TeachAIDS pilot software is being used in 23 states and union territories by various organizations, institutions, and individual educators. However, in a country like India, with many cultures and a diverse population, language matters. The need for culturally specific educational material is imperative in reaching the masses. Given this, TeachAIDS is committed to developing several special language versions for release across the nation.
In 2010, following a tumultuous public debate where HIV positive children were expelled from their schools, TeachAIDS partnered with the Andhra Pradesh State AIDS Control Society (APSACS) to develop the Telugu language version of the TeachAIDS software. More than 25,000 copies of the animated software were distributed into schools, NGOs, and counseling centers. The animations were also shown on local television across the state. In Karnataka, despite the ban on sex education, state officials formally approved the TeachAIDS content and are fully committed to distributing 30,000 copies of the materials. Following suit, other states such as Assam and Tamil Nadu have committed to help support the TeachAIDS organization with the development of other localized content for large-scale distribution in their respective states.
Situated on the eastern coast of India, the state of Odisha (also known as Orissa) has joined the movement to provide a customized version of the TeachAIDS software to its people. The state government intends to launch this new Odia version as part of their Odisha State AIDS Control Society (OSACS) curriculum for distribution across vulnerable populations.
HIV has affected India unevenly, with some states significantly more impacted than others. In Odisha, while less than 1% of the general adult population is HIV positive, it is one of the few states where HIV rates are still on the rise. In fact, NACO has identified Odisha as one of five highly vulnerable states, with rates in high-risk populations rising from 1.3% in 2001 to 7.3% in 2007. Coupling the TeachAIDS software with their current multi-tier strategy, OSACS hopes to reduce the prevalence of HIV and educate citizens about ways to take care of themselves and their loved ones.
“I am happy to know that TeachAIDS has developed an animation film on HIV/AIDS which has already been piloted in Andhra Pradesh in their regional language and planning to make the said film in Odia language similar way.” – Commission-cum-Project Director, Dr. Pramod Meherda, Odisha State AIDS Control Society
In partnership with the Odisha State AIDS Control Society, and with support from his honorable Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, TeachAIDS has garnered support from local movie directors, producers, and the state’s most celebrated actors to develop and launch the Odia language version of the TeachAIDS materials.