HIV-Prevention Animated Shorts Off To Asia

The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) will now distribute THE THREE AMIGOS, a series of 20 animated Public Service Announcements designed to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS, throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

The ABU will distribute the series in multiple languages under its Media Awareness Exchange (MAE) banner to more than 120 broadcasters in 53 countries.

It could potentially reach an audience of more than 3 billion people.

The MAE involves a monthly satellite delivery mechanism of pro-social content to broadcasters across the region.

Global Media AIDS Initiative supports the distribution of the HIV and AIDS-specific content under the MAE.

THE THREE AMIGOS is a series of short comedic sketches, featuring three animated talking condoms. Eighty volunteers in Canada, India and South Africa created the spots, which always end with a voiceover saying, "Use a condom. Stop the spread of AIDS."

The series has been adapted into 41 languages, enabling around 80 percent of the world's population to see the series in its own language.

Already in use in more than 100 countries, the campaign continues to reach across cultural barriers to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS.

THE THREE AMIGOS has been used in countries ranging from liberal democracies to conservative theocracies, from countries in southern Africa where AIDS is rampant, to countries on the threshold of a possible AIDS crisis in Asia and Eastern Europe.

Broadcasters have donated millions of dollars worth of free airtime to broadcast the series, in some cases up to 20 times a day.

Thousands of health clinics, hospitals, non-governmental organizations and universities across the world currently distribute the DVDs free of charge.

The series has received 30 international awards, including the Peabody Award, and hundreds of articles in many languages have been written on its creation and impact.

Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a principal supporter, called the series in an open letter "a powerful communicating tool to encourage people to change their behavior."

Series creators have received hundreds of testimonials from government officials, AIDS educators and ordinary people whose behavior has been influenced by the series.

A detailed FAQ page and PSA's in each language can be seen at www.thethreeamigos.org.

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