Health and Environment Show
BACKGROUND ON BROTHERS FOR LIFE CAMPAIGN
Brothers for Life is a national men’s campaign launched in 2009, targeting primarily men aged 15 – 34, and women, political, traditional, cultural and religious leaders as secondary audiences. The campaign is a holistic lifestyle campaign that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of all South Africans. Specific communication objectives include promoting health seeking behaviours amongst men, which include sexual and reproductive health, HIV testing, treatment initiation and adherence, medical male circumcision, TB testing and treatment, Gender Based Violence (SGBV) prevention, positive parenthood and substance abuse prevention. The campaign encourages engaged fatherhood through involvement in maternal, child and women’s health. Our vision is to create a movement that draws upon the spirit of brotherhood existing amongst South African men to encourage men to positively influence each other as individuals, partners, parents and leaders.
The campaign is a collaboration between the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), the Department of Health; PEPFAR; USAID, SABC, Centre for Communications Impact (CCI) and several civil society partners.
Our philosophy is that most men live positive lives, and that we can create positive norms by listening to these men and sharing their stories, so that men whose behaviour is self-destructive can model their behaviour on them or find routes to help and support. When we are dealing with an issue, such as HCT or fatherhood, we want to find people who speak from a position of strength and experience. We never want all men to feel that they are being judged as bad people because some men may be living negative lives. We also want men who are trapped in self-destructive behaviour to know that they are not alone, and that they can find help or change. It is important not to generalise. For instance, if you are asking a question, saying “Why don’t men test for HIV…” puts all men in the same negative boat. Millions of men do test for HIV every year. It is better to ask “What are the barriers that keep some men from testing? ”
Please keep this in mind for all your content interviews, discussions with studio guests and callers. In giving answers, guests should avoid gender stereotyping, and emphasize the numbers of men who do practice the behaviours we are trying to exemplify.