ViiV Healthcare is very excited to announce the winners of this year’s Every Footstep Counts (EFC) competition. This morning in Durban, we presented four fantastic winners with their prize of an unrestricted grant of $10,000 at the main stage in the Global Village at the 2016 International AIDS Conference. For the second edition of this competition we received over 40 video submissions which told the stories of local community groups in a truly inspirational way, providing a candid and truthful account of the issues facing areas affected by HIV/AIDS and the importance of community-based programming in tackling the epidemic.
Over 100,000 people voted for their favourite videos and our panel of judges reviewed the shortlisted entries. The winning programmes stood out from the rest through the compelling way they illustrated their grassroots approach to supporting communities and showcased ways this plays a part in the global response to the HIV epidemic across the globe.
The judges of the competition included:
- Amaya Gillespie (UNICEF)
- Marissa Vicari (International AIDS Society)
- Georgia Arnold (MTV Staying Alive Foundation)
- Tayla Colton (Keep a Child Alive)
- Peter Piot (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine)
- Lisa Russell (Women Deliver Arts and Cinema Corner)
In joint second place…
The PLAEP film follows the story of a woman named Esther, who is living with HIV and felt very alone in her diagnosis, until she was put in touch with a Grassroots Building Our Wealth group (GROW) of other HIV positive women who help support each other, and save and borrow money from one another to improve their economic status.
World Vision Uganda’s film follows Charity - who is affected by HIV in the Kitgum district in Uganda. Her story highlights the importance of maternal health during pregnancy to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, as well as the significance of involving family members and friends in any counselling or educational sessions to extend the messages further and ultimately prevent future HIV infections.
And in joint first place…
IHATS’ winning video looks at HIV diagnosis from the eyes of a mother called Bawna, and showcases how women like her, living with HIV in India, can be supported when they feel disheartened. This emotive and powerful video shows the power of educating mothers diagnosed with HIV to avoid mother-to-child transmission, better understand their diagnosis and the importance of eating nutritiously and interacting with other women living with HIV – all things that help mothers living with HIV feel more positive about their futures.
Georgia Arnold commented, “Of all the entrees, this is the most ‘filmic’ one, in the sense that it really tells a story from beginning to end. This is the only film that is entirely told from the woman’s perspective. It’s engaging because you follow her ‘in her footsteps’ as she tells her story and gives you an insight into her life. The film clearly explains sexual health challenges and discrimination women like her are facing and how the project is helping her overcome these.”
Following the success of their win in last year’s competition for their film, ‘Saving Children, Improving Lives’, the hard work of PHRII has yet again been recognised in the 2016 competition. The video followed the on-the-ground work they carry out in rural villages in India to treat and prevent HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STI) and reproductive tract infections (RTI) and the positive impact it is having. With women making up almost half of the 2.5 million people living with HIV/AIDS in India, PHRII set up remote clinics to ensure that women affected by HIV/AIDS are regularly receiving the treatment and counselling they require to allow them to lead healthy lives – a recent study showed there is currently a 95% follow up rate for village women attending these clinics.
About the video, Georgia Arnold explained, “It doesn’t just tell the story of one individual, but rather of the community of women as a whole. It has been nicely made with few resources and it really shows how the project achieves a lot with relatively few means. It’s especially powerful to see that women are now turning to the organisation for support, rather than the organisation approaching women to get involved.”
To find out more….
For those attending AIDS 2016, you’re very welcome to come to the PA Stand in the Global Village to watch all the entries at any time during the congress, or join us at a special screening at 4.30pm on Wednesday 20th July 2016. Alternatively, please do attend the Winners’ Hour at the PA Stand at 5.00pm on Wednesday 20th July 2016. For those not attending AIDS 2016, please visit the website to watch the film submissions at www.everyfootstepcounts.com.
 WHO. 2.5 million people in India living with HIV, according to new estimates. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2007/pr37/en/ [Last accessed June 2016]