HIVE’s Shannon Weber talks with the amazing Anna Forbes, MSS, at the National HIV Prevention Conference.
Anna describes the concept of Spark Plugs:
“I think of a Spark Plug as a person you find who is so committed to something that she or he is not going to stop talking about it, ever, and is very interested and very talented in motivating other people to get on board with the idea, to really sell the idea and recruit them, and create change, create the momentum that causes change to happen.”
Anna talks about her experience in the early 80’s, and how people organized and took care of each other in the early days of the epidemic.
Next, Shannon asks her about the Paper Doll Campaign, and Anna explains that, in twenty-six countries, in fifteen months, sixty NGOs were distributing Paper Dolls. There were 15,000 dolls displayed at the International AIDS Conference in 2012.
Anna says that Paper Dolls are,
“Perfect for educating people, because you had something in your hands that you’re going out with, it’s silly, it looks unthreatening, it looks interesting, and people come over and say, ‘What’s this?’ And you describe it to them, and it gives you an opportunity to demonstrate the female condom, and then, when you’re done talking with them, you say, ‘Would you like to write something on this [paper doll] about how you feel about female condoms, what you think about female condoms?’
According to Anna, the overwhelming response was that women like female condoms, want them, and want them in their communities.
Lastly, Anna speaks very eloquently about what is in the way of women’s rights and women’s health.