WATCH: This HIV awareness film for men in the Middle East is like a horror movie

One of the organizations doing great health awareness work in the Middle East is M-Coalition. The MENA (Middle East North Africa) branch of this Non-Government Agency is based in Beirut, Lebanon. It produces Arabic-language materials that can be used across the Middle East.

It’s just released a film for World AIDS Day to encourage men to get tested.

Perhaps surprisingly, the film begins like a horror movie. Some may be reminded, dispiritingly, of infamous campaign films from the early days of AIDS – like the ‘Don’t Die of Ignorance’ campaign in the UK in the late 80s.

A man awakes in his darkened bedroom. He gets up and creeps through his house, his every step accompanied by chilling music. We see another figure in the darkness. Who is he and what’s going to happen?

Thankfully, this is one thriller with a twist in the tale. The reason for the scary music is to provoke fear – exactly the emotion that many still experience when they think about getting themselves tested for HIV.

However, as the film goes on to explain, ‘test and counseling are not something scary… you can take the test confidentially and get the result in a short time.’

Watch the film below.

‘This video is the first of five about HIV testing,’ M-Coalition Executive Director Elie Ballan told GSN.

‘We are trying to debunk HIV testing myths, such as fear of testing and embarrassment, about being safe when having sex, living with HIV and discussing HIV with friends.

‘The idea is that this campaign targets gay men, and in our experience, gay men enjoy funny stuff. So we decided to make the videos funny, so guys would share them and have a more relaxed view about HIV in order to break the stigma of the 80’s horror epidemic.

‘It in no way means to belittle HIV. I myself have been living with HIV for 10 years, but we just want people to not be too scared.’


Anti-gay attitudes persist across the Middle East….

Read more from Source: WATCH: This HIV awareness film for men in the Middle East is like a horror movie


About Gay Today

Editor of Gay Today