Message Brief

Key messages as identified by research to inform development of the script

sc_s6_mbpic082.jpgMessage Brief TV

HIV and AIDS affects children in our communities

Although many children are already feeling the impact of HIV and AIDS, their experience is not visible outside their immediate environment. The series can show the impact of HIV and AIDS on children by focusing on their experiences of the virus.

Take action to support children affected by HIV and AIDS and their carers

You can: (the series can model some of the examples below)

  • Help the children with their homework
  • Go with the children to the clinic if they are sick
  • Teach the children to cook and clean for themselves
  • Support the caregiver when he/she has too many things to do
  • Ask the caregiver what you can do to help
  • Spend time at the caregivers house so that he/she can have a break
  • Call a meeting with other community members to plan together how you will take care of children in need
  • The series should ensure that the "community" that we show includes all South African communities. We want to clearly state that HIV and AIDS affects us all - not only those that are infected.
  • The series should affirm the good job that carers of children are already doing. It should also acknowledge that it is normal to feel that caring for children is a difficult and ongoing job.

There are different possible models of caring for children

The possibilities range from community support for child-headed households to fostering and adoption. TV could model at least 2 options viz. children with a caregiver and children living on their own. This would create the context for message 2 above and message 4 below.

Adults can talk to children in their care about the death of their parents and their feelings and fears.

Parents, children and caregivers need to talk to each other about their feelings about illness, death and dying. Talking about it with each other will make them feel better.

The series could model one or more of the following:

  • Parents can talk to children about their own illness and approaching death
  • Children can seek out adults that they feel they can talk to
  • Children cope better when they share their feelings and concerns
  • Children may have misconceptions and unnecessary fears when they do not share their feelings with others
  • Children can talk to other children who have the same problems

Children can be assisted if they are caring for their siblings and for sick parents

Although we do not want to encourage it, we acknowledge that school-age children are already taking care of sick parents and younger siblings. Many children who are able to, want help in the home when their parents are ill. Being able to help in the home makes children feel that they are doing something to ease the illness for their parents. These children need to be supported so that they are able to stay in school and are not overwhelmed with adult responsibilities.

Men can be carers of children

Men are already caring for children. The series can affirm this. The series can also model a male learning to take care of children - especially young children. Males who take care of young children allow older children (especially girls) to continue with school. With the high rate of death amongst young women, men are also going to have to get involved in caring for children.

There are advantages to going for an HIV test if you want to have a baby

The series needs to present all the options available to women who might be pregnant and HIV positive. It would be better to model someone considering the options before they became pregnant, as this would encourage others to do the same. The choices are: 

  • Not to have the child
  • Take medication to prevent transmission to the baby
  • Have a caesar
  • Exclusive breastfeeding
  • Bottle-feeding

(some of these are being constantly changed as new research becomes available - we will need to be careful with scripts and check facts on an ongoing basis)

Everyone can learn basic skills to help care for someone who is ill. 

  • You can learn basic skills to prevent accidental infection.
  • You can learn how to deal with the changing emotions of a person who is ill.
  • You can learn which foods to prepare for a person who is ill.

Underlying messages

  • HIV causes AIDS. You can take action to avoid becoming HIV positive.
  • There are benefits to being tested for HIV
  • Disclosure will help you and your family to cope

Message Brief Radio

HIV and AIDS affects children in our communities

Although many children are already feeling the impact of HIV and AIDS, their experience is not visible outside their immediate environment. The series can show the impact of HIV and AIDS on children by focusing on their experiences of the virus.

Take action to support children affected by HIV and AIDS and their carers

You can: (the series can model some of the examples below)

  • Help the children with their homework
  • Go with the children to the clinic if they are sick
  • Teach the children to cook and clean for themselves
  • Support the caregiver when he/she has too many things to do
  • Ask the caregiver what you can do to help
  • Spend time at the caregivers house so that he/she can have a break
  • Call a meeting with other community members to plan together how you will take care of children in need
  • The series should ensure that the "community" that we show includes all South African communities. We want to clearly state that HIV and AIDS affects us all - not only those that are infected.
  • The series should affirm the good job that carers of children are already doing. It should also acknowledge that it is normal to feel that caring for children is a difficult and ongoing job.

Adults can talk to children in their care about the death of their parents and their feelings and fears

Parents, children and caregivers need to talk to each other about their feelings about illness, death and dying. Talking about it with each other will make them feel better.

The series could model one or more of the following: 

  • Parents can talk to children about their own illness and approaching death
  • Children can seek out adults that they feel they can talk to
  • Children cope better when they share their feelings and concerns
  • Children may have misconceptions and unnecessary fears when they do not share their feelings with others
  • Children can talk to other children who have the same problems

Men can be carers of children

Men are already caring for children. The series can affirm this. The series can also model a male learning to take care of children. Males who are carers of young children enable older girl children to go to school. In a context where large numbers of young women are dying, men are going to have to take part in caring.

There are advantages to going for an HIV test if you want to have a baby

The series needs to present all the options available to women who might be pregnant and HIV positive. It would be better to model someone considering the options before they became pregnant, as this would encourage others to do the same. The choices are: 

  • Not to have the child
  • Take medication to prevent transmission to the baby
  • Have a caesar
  • Exclusive breastfeeding
  • Bottle-feeding

(some of these are being constantly changed as new research becomes available - we will need to be careful with scripts and check facts on an ongoing basis)

Underlying messages 

  • HIV causes AIDS. You can take action to avoid becoming HIV positive.
  • There are benefits to being tested for HIV
  • Disclosure will help you and your family to cope

Message Brief Booklet

HIV and AIDS affects children in our communities

Although many children are already feeling the impact of HIV and AIDS, their experience is not visible outside their immediate environment. The series can show the impact of HIV and AIDS on children by focusing on their experiences of the virus.

Take action to support children affected by HIV and AIDS and their carers

You can: (the series can model some of the examples below) 

  • Help the children with their homework
  • Go with the children to the clinic if they are sick
  • Teach the children to cook and clean for themselves
  • Support the caregiver when he/she has too many things to do
  • Ask the caregiver what you can do to help
  • Spend time at the caregivers house so that he/she can have a break
  • Call a meeting with other community members to plan together how you will take care of children in need
  • The series should ensure that the "community" that we show includes all South African communities. We want to clearly state that HIV and AIDS affects us all - not only those that are infected.
  • The series should affirm the good job that carers of children are already doing. It should also acknowledge that it is normal to feel that caring for children is a difficult and ongoing job.

There are different possible models of caring for children

The possibilities range from community support for child-headed households to fostering and adoption. The booklet should briefly outline the different child care grants that carers can apply for and the procedure they should follow.

Adults can talk to children in their care about the death of their parents and their feelings and fears.

Parents, children and caregivers need to talk to each other about their feelings about illness, death and dying. Talking about it with each other will make them feel better.

The series could model one or more of the following: 

  • Parents can talk to children about their own illness and approaching death
  • Children can seek out adults that they feel they can talk to
  • Children cope better when they share their feelings and concerns
  • Children can talk to other children who have the same problems

Children can learn skills to care for their siblings and for sick parents

School-age children are already taking care of sick parents and younger siblings. Many children who are able to, want help in the home when their parents are ill. Being able to help in the home makes children feel that they are doing something to ease the illness for their parents.

Men can be carers of children

Men are already caring for children. The series can affirm this. The series can also model a male learning to take care of children. Males who care for young children enable older girl children to go to school. With the high death rate of young women, males are going to have to get involved in caring for young children.

There are advantages to going for an HIV test if you want to have a baby

The series needs to present all the options available to women who might be pregnant and HIV positive. It would be better to model someone considering the options before they became pregnant, as this would encourage others to do the same. The choices are:

  • Not to have the child
  • Take medication to prevent transmission to the baby
  • Have a caesar
  • Exclusive breastfeeding
  • Bottle-feeding

(some of these are being constantly changed as new research becomes available - we will need to be careful with scripts and check facts on an ongoing basis)

Everyone can learn basic skills to help care for someone who is ill 

  • You can learn basic skills to prevent accidental infection
  • You can learn how to deal with the changing emotions of a person who is ill
  • You can learn which foods to prepare for people who are ill

Underlying messages 

  • There are benefits to being tested for HIV
  • Disclosure will help you and your family to cope
  • HIV causes AIDS. You can protect yourself from HIV