India has the third-highest number of HIV-positive people in the world, after South Africa and Nigeria. Within India, the state of Assam has been identified as one of the regions with an increase in HIV prevalence in the past few years. Recognizing the ineffectiveness of simple “awareness” campaigns, the government of Assam has joined efforts with TeachAIDS to extend its award-winning curriculum to the Axomiya-speaking population.
“We are delighted to launch TeachAIDS in Assam. We were very much impressed with the high level of efficacy demonstrated by these materials and are confident that they will make a big difference in our HIV prevention efforts throughout the state.”
- Tarun Gogoi, Chief Minister of Assam
Using our unique research-based process, TeachAIDS will work with experts in Assam to design and implement robust HIV education materials while balancing the cultural and social needs of the community. The Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS) has taken the lead to systematically distribute and implement the TeachAIDS software into hospitals, counseling facilities, NGOs and local schools throughout the state.
TeachAIDS is working closely with state representatives to identify the most respected and popular cultural icons to integrate into the Axomiya language versions of the animated software. Numerous other Indian celebrities including Shabana Azmi, Nagarjuna, Amol Palekar, and Shruti Haasan, among others, have already donated their voices and likenesses towards the TeachAIDS animations.
“When I first learned about this research-driven approach, it was clear that using animated characters was an innovative way to communicate simple biological concepts around virus transfer to people of all ages. I am proud to be part of the TeachAIDS movement and am confident that many people around the world will benefit from their tireless efforts.”
- Shabana Azmi, former UN Goodwill Ambassador and world-renowned actress
The current TeachAIDS language versions are already being used in 23 states and union territories in India. Last year, the Telugu language versions of TeachAIDS were launched in Andhra Pradesh (population ~84 million) with great success. The animations incorporated regional celebrities and were shown on television numerous times, including on Doordarshan. Cultural icons Nagarjuna, Amala Akkineni, and Anushka Shetty spoke at the press conference, and more than 25,000 copies of the animated software were distributed into schools, NGOs, and counseling facilities throughout the state. In Karnataka (population ~52 million), despite their ban on sex education, state officials have formally approved the TeachAIDS content as suitable – a first in their history – and will distribute the Kannada language versions across more than 5,500 government and government-aided secondary schools in the state. Numerous Kannada-speaking icons, including Sudeep, among others, have already donated their voices and likenesses for the customized Kannada animations.
In India, a country with a vastly diverse population, language matters. With the development of each new language version, this life-saving education will reach many more millions. In total, TeachAIDS plans to develop 16 Indian language versions to reach over 1 billion people with this critical information.
Together, with the support of the esteemed Chief Minister of Assam, Tarun Gogoi, and in partnership with other state leaders, the development of the Axomiya language versions of the TeachAIDS software will bring us one step closer to accomplishing this goal.