Media Advocacy for addressing MTH issues

Alliance India in Andhra Pradesh conducted a Media Advocacy Meet this week (September 17, 2012) in Hyderabad to discuss the human right issues of men who have sex with men, transgender and hijras (MTH) and the role of media in representing their issues. The meet was conducted in collaboration with Center for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) and State AIDS Control Society (APSACS). Representatives from all major national and local print and electronic media houses attended the meeting.  Community members shared their experiences of representation of their human rights violations in print and electronic media.

At the end of the discussion, the senior journalists suggested the following: (a) to create district level consortium of media and health groups working on HIV prevention, (b) to request the health department of the media houses to foreground the MTH issues, (c) to form a state level action team/committee that can respond to violation of rights of MTH populations in the media, and (d) to conduct a workshop with the management of print and electronic media entities at the state level to sensitize them to MTH media needs.

Mr. Kailashditya, Joint Director, APSACS and Dr. P. Prabhakar, Director, Alliance India in Andhra Pradesh welcomed the suggestions and proposed efforts to initiate advocacy with media in a more focused manner.

This meet received wide attention from various quarters and positive reports in the media. To read the press coverage, click here.

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The author this post, Rambabu Mudraboyina, is Advocacy Officer for Alliance India’s Pehchan Programme in Andhra Pradesh

With support from the Global Fund, Pehchan builds the capacity of 200 community-based organisations (CBOs) for men who have sex with men (MSM), transgenders and hijras in 17 states in India to be more effective partners in the government’s HIV prevention programme. By supporting the development of strong CBOs, Pehchan will address some of the capacity gaps that have often prevented CBOs from receiving government funding for much-needed HIV programming. Named Pehchan which in Hindi means ‘identity’, ‘recognition’ or ‘acknowledgement,’ this programme is implemented by India HIV/AIDS Alliance in consortium with Humsafar Trust, SAATHII, Sangama, and SIAAP and will reach 453,750 MSM, transgenders and hijras by 2015. It is the Global Fund’s largest single-country grant to date focused on the HIV response for vulnerable sexual minorities.

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