The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV+/AIDS
Thoughts: Problems + Solutions
BONELA is Botswana’s foremost NGO working in the area of health advocacy in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Efforts center around using media and training programs to educate the public about HIV/AIDS and treatments available to combat the disease. BONELA also helps HIV residents with legal aid and civil rights issues as HIV people experience discrimination. My main project was to design a poster about HIV treatment literacy in English and Setswana that would be distributed throughout the country. BONELA wanted the poster to show a photo instead of an illustration in order to demonstrate that a real person was not afraid to admit that he had HIV so as to encourage dialogue about the disease.
We pushed this idea farther to feature the character in a graphic narrative that modeled evidence-based recommendations for self-care and best practices. The story promoted using condoms while having sex, keeping in contact with health care providers, taking treatments according to a prescribed schedule, seeking changes in treatment if experiencing side effects, and seeking support from one’s family. After creating the poster I helped figure out printing schematics and color coordination before sending it to the press. Another task completed was to design a logo for BONELA’s Office of Treatment Literacy to reflect the instructional nature of its work.
Upon my return to New York I continued to work with the organization to design an Awards Certificate, a pamphlet, a leaflet for children and one promoting BONELA’s legal aid services.