ABIDJAN – The United States Embassy is pleased to join with Radiodiffusion Television Ivoirienne (RTI) and U. S. Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to announce the launch of a new television and radio program entitled Spotlight SIDA. Spotlight SIDA is a twice-monthly program on RTI 1 and weekly program on Radio Côte d’Ivoire focusing on the fight against HIV/AIDS in Côte d’Ivoire. The radio program runs Monday mornings on Radio Côte d’Ivoire at 08h30. The television program debuts on Saturday, March 22 on RTI1 at 14h30. The BBG oversees Voice of America (VOA) which will air the radio programs.
The television program will run 26 minutes and will feature a panel discussion and reports from journalists on local and national organizations engaged in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The radio program runs 13 minutes and features one-on-one interviews with organizations or with a patient with HIV/AIDS to talk about successes and challenges in fighting against and living with the disease.
“Although well over 90 percent of Ivoirians have heard of HIV, only 14 percent of women and 24 percent of men have an in-depth knowledge of the disease, demonstrating that we have a long way to go in informing the population about prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS,” Ambassador Terence McCulley said. “Our hope is that Spotlight SIDA, done in partnership with our friends at RTI and VOA, will help to increase awareness of the disease, circulate information about its prevention and treatment, and promote discussion among Ivoirians regarding HIV and its implications on a personal and national level.”
The funding for Spotlight SIDA comes through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and is being implemented in partnership with VOA. The PEPFAR program celebrated its tenth year of operation in Côte d’Ivoire in 2013. With over 200 partner organizations nationwide, the U.S. government through the PEPFAR program is the largest single contributor to the Ivoirian health care system. In the country, PEPFAR has contributed to ensuring that almost 110,000 people living with HIV have had access to lifesaving treatment. In 2013 alone, over 13,000 HIV-positive mothers received medication to prevent HIV transmission to their infants.
“Despite all the amazing work being done to combat this deadly disease, Côte d’Ivoire remains the country with the highest prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in all of West Africa,” Ambassador McCulley added. “The United States government is allied with the government of Côte d’Ivoire to reinforce national systems and promote the health of all Ivoirians.”