A group of Indian campaigners is singing and dancing their way to the glorification of condom use. It's a crucial fight in their central region, where two percent of the population is HIV positive. And the result - a Bollywood style video clip - is hilarious.
According to a 2007 survey by UNAIDS and India's National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), between 2 million and 3.6 million people live with the HIV virus in India, placing the country third in the world after South Africa and Nigeria. However, AIDS prevention in the country is not an easy job. A large part of the population, particularly in rural areas, cling on to preconceived taboos about sex, and are often hesitant to use condoms.
The group teaching young men in Andhra Pradesh.
For the past 11 years, P Narsingh Rao, director of Nrityanjali academy, a socio-cultural group based in Hyderabad, has been using the performing arts to promote awareness:Our main target groups are people vulnerable to the HIV virus like sex workers, transsexuals or truck drivers. We tour villages in mobile video vans to show the film. The screening is followed by a question and answer session about condom use and sexually transmitted diseases. We also encourage the use of female condoms, a relatively new concept. We tell the women to negotiate the use of female condoms with their male partners: for men with little sex education, the insertion of the female condom in the vagina can in itself be an erotic act.
Our group also uses dance and theatre to spread social messages. Our projects are sponsored by the government of Andhra Pradesh and bilateral donors. In Andhra Pradesh there is lot to do in rural areas, and any sort of donations or support is welcome."
The video, shot last summer, has already been viewed almost 800,000 times on YouTube.