Prepping for PrEP

Positive East launched ‘Mama Says’ in November 2018. The 90-second film clip, available in six languages, is an animated tool to encourage pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) uptake amongst communities at risk of HIV who may not be aware of HIV and PrEP. ‘Mama Says’ is specifically designed for African communities.

The piece was developed over the course of a year’s work between Positive East and members of black African communities in east London and Hertfordshire. The setting, voices, and use of language and animation, were all driven by real people’s feedback into what would encourage talk about, and uptake of, PrEP.

Throughout the project, Positive East found that levels of PrEP knowledge were generally very low, and that framing PrEP as part of HIV testing and combination prevention was one of the most important drivers of PrEP acceptability.

At the same time, community feedback indicated that although targeted messaging using HIV prevalence statistics for African communities was important in ensuring HIV was addressed, it was equally important to demonstrate that HIV does not discriminate. The use of exclusively black African faces to portray HIV risk was unhelpful, and in many cases, stigmatising, because as one respondent put it: ‘HIV don’t show dey face.’

With the video clip, Positive East has condensed one year’s work into 90 seconds worth of digital intervention. The video is open licence, and it is their hope that professionals within the sector use the tool to start conversations with their clients about PrEP.

More importantly, it is Positive East’s ambition that the video remains a shareable tool by and for members of African communities in the UK.

A community report outlining the full study behind the video will be published soon.

Watch the English language clip here:

‘Prepping for PrEP’ received funding as one of the 12 successful applicants to the 2017/18 Public Health England HIV Prevention Innovation Fund.