GTP+ (‘Group of Work for Positive Prevention’, in English), is an HIV and AIDS NGO based in Recife, Brazil. They work with HIV/AIDS prevention and have projects focused on empowerment and advocacy services for Human Rights and Citizenship for people living with HIV.
This placement took place in November 2008. Communications professional Ryan Fisher from Wieden+Kennedy came to help promote the NGO’s restaurant “Cozinha Solidária” (Solidarity Kitchen). By increasing the number of people attending the restaurant, GTP+ would not only strengthen their financial sustainability but would also help decrease discrimination amongst the population about products and food prepared by people living with HIV and Aids (everyone who works at GTP+, including those in the kitchen, have the virus).
Ryan’s campaign was very successful. In 2007, on a normal Friday in the Solidarity Kitchen, 11- 15 people would come and pay for lunch. At the end of 2009, following the launch of Ryan’s campaign, they had a significant increase of around 60 lunches daily. In the beginning of 2010, about a year and a half after the campaign was launched they were serving about 50 lunches daily.
And that’s not all. With the extra money made from the kitchen, GTP+ was able to rent a larger area and create an even more professional kitchen and therefore restaurant. They also established a partnership with the USAID and NGO Pact Brasil, and received enough funding from them to renovate the new space, and purchase new equipment. GTP+ managed to serve even more people than previously in the older space, and subsequently increase their revenue even further. Finally, people who previously stopped eating at the restaurant when they learned that the people making their food had HIV, returned after this campaign.
This campaign not only provided the necessary financial resource that the NGO needed, it also provided those at the NGO with a renewed confidence, renewed sense of worth, proved that their business model had real potential and decreased stigma and discrimination in the local area. You can read Ryan’s case study here.
This project took place in October 2010. This time TIE brought communications professional Harry Dromey from Leo Burnett to develop a campaign to minimize the stigma and prejudice towards people living with HIV/AIDS and to raise awareness in Recife and adjacent cities about the vulnerability of these people. But the outcomes of the campaign didn’t limit themselves to Recife. The campaign was first launched in July 2011. After the campaign launched, GTP+ was then invited to the national meeting in Rio de Janeiro of the Legal Counsels that work in their field of action. The campaign was re-launched on the 1st of December, which is, since 1987, the Worlds AIDS day. GTP+ then managed to establish new partnerships with non-governmental and governmental institutions.
In March 2015, TIE brought Jamie Watson, from BBH London, to develop a campaign to raise awareness & increase the understanding of the important work that GTP+ does, in order to help GTP+ secure partnerships with local businesses and increase their revenue.
With the help of the local agency Melhor, they identified the need to reopen the dialogue about HIV & AIDS, since there’s still a lot of ignorance around the subject. At the same time, Jamie and his team saw this as an opportunity to start a conversation with local businesses and generate more business opportunities for GTP+.
In the past, Brazil has been considered one of the main players in the fight against the HIV virus and its public policies were praised on the world stage. This situation, however, has changed dramatically in the past few years. Government neglect and a new generation that is unaware about the risks of HIV and AIDS have formed a dangerous equation, resulting in a spike in HIV incidence. In a deeply unequal country, the wealthier members of Brazilian society are well informed about risks and prevention, and the poorest have been hit the hardest. Incidence of HIV amongst transexual people and sex workers is especially worrying.
GTP+ has always been there to inform, raise awareness and comfort HIV+ people and advocate for their rights, and they have watched this scenario develop with a feeling of impotence, since much of the prevention work depends on having a supportive government – which is no longer the case in Brazil.
So they decided to roll up their sleeves and take action.
Once again TIE partnered up with GTP+ to help them in their fight. And what happened was spectacular. We were able to place the talented Sam Cheetham from BBH London with GTP+ for a month, to help the organisation design a communications campaign that would raise awareness of PrEP, which stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, a drug freely available at selected public hospitals in Brazil that, if taken correctly, reduces the chance of HIV contraction to nearly zero – being therefore highly recommended to vulnerable populations such as sex workers and intravenous drug users. The main problem was that among the target audience, no one even knew such a thing existed. And then there was the problem of reaching them with an accessible, rather than condescending language.
And that’s exactly what Sam, along with the local agency Agência Iris, did. Working relentlessly together with the GTP+ team, they were able to create a beautiful campaign, that left everyone at GTP+ ecstatic. One of the outcomes was a fantastic video uniting the local brega-funk rythm to the importance of HIV prevention. Check it out below.
After the campaign was launched, and according to GTP+, they have perceived an increased awareness of PrEP amongst the sex worker community with whom they work. And in June 2019, four months later, the hospital branch responsible for PrEP in Recife is fully booked for the next two months. You can read more about Sam’s placement here.