AIDES is a French community-based non-profit organization that was founded in 1984 by Daniel Defert, following the death of his life-long companion Michel Foucault. The name is a word play on aides (the plural for help in French) and AIDS.
Its aim is to bring people living with HIV/AIDS together with their loved ones and peers into an organized entity dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS and to defend the rights of people and communities affected by this disease.
As of 2007, AIDES is active in France in 100 cities with 400 staff members and more than 1000 registered and trained volunteers. It is the largest non-governmental organization in France working on HIV issues, by number of activists and budget. It is considered one of the main observers of the epidemic in France. Internationally, AIDES has developed strong partnerships with fellow community-based NGOs in Africa, in Europe and in Canada (Quebec) to strengthen the role of civil society by sharing best practices and to jointly advocate for global access to care and prevention. It also developed a partnership with the UN Programme on HIV/AIDS
Actions by the organization
- Male and female condom distribution (about one million in 2005)
- Awareness campaigns on television
- Syringe exchange programs
- Home help
- Publishing of the first French AIDS-related magazine Remaides
- Legal advising to HIV positive people
- Help Free phone line "Sida info service"
One of their video projects is an AIDS awareness cartoon. The cartoon, produced by Goodby, Silverstein and Partners and presented in the style of 1920's era animation, features the comically exaggerated sexual adventures of a cat named "Smutley" and ends with the message, "He has nine lives. You only have one. Protect yourself." Posted on AIDES' YouTube channel on 16 March 2011, it has logged over 1.3 million views as of 3 June 2012.
AIDES released the album Message in February 2010 with the participation of 33 artists covering various songs as well as 15 radio personalities. Collectif Artistes performs "If" credited to Collectif Artistes, namely Daniel Powter, M. Pokora, Caroline Costa, Natasha St. Pier, Justin Nozuka, Sofia Essaidi, Lara Fabian, Anggun, Tom Frager, Christophe Willem, Jenifer, Bob Sinclar, Joachim Garraud. On the other hand, Animateur FM Matinales contribute their comments under the title "No Comment". The album also contains 14 covers of songs by individual artists and one new track "Peace Song" contributed by Bob Sinclar.
One AIDES Public Service Announcement, released in 2011, is entitled A Smutley Cartoon - Gettin' Tail, and is a cartoon presented in black and white (with film scratches) and character designs from the 1920s and 1930s "silent-age of animation". Smutley is an extremely promiscuous, bowtie-wearing cat. To the musical accompaniment of Joan Jett's Bad Reputation, Smutley is shown entering a rough-looking bar called "Furballs". After flipping a coin into a jukebox and attracting the eye of a female turtle, Smutley is shown having sex with her in a run-down bedroom. As a squirrel turns a crank to advance different scenes from right to left, Smutley is further shown having sex with a rabbit in a sauna, a non-morphic (and possibly non-anthropomorphic) goldfish in an elevator, a dolphin (penetrating its blowhole), three seals in an office typing pool, a pig in a BDSM dungeon, four chickens in a sports locker room (also non-morphic or non-anthro), a vixen in the back of a taxi cab (being driven by a monkey), and an elephant in a public library. The cartoon ends with a series of title cards warning the viewer: "He's got nine lives", "YOU only have one", "Protect yourself". The Smutley campaign was created by Los Angeles-based advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.
Notes and references
- Aides means "support" in French
- "Values and principles" on the official site, (French) coqsida.com
- UNAIDS statement on Marty-Lavauzelle's death
- 2002 report on sexual behaviors by gay people by the INVS, official French health organization]
- (French) 2001 UNAIDS report
- Towards the creation of strategic partnerships by UNAIDS, Guidance Note for the United Nations Resident Coordinator System on HIV/AIDS in the UN Workplace, (French) 1995 UNAIDS report
- (French) Official statistics
- AIDES prevention TV-spot
- (French) france5.fr
- Campagnes de sensibilisation on AIDES' website
- "Un épisode de Smutley: La queue en l'air" on the AIDES website