HIV Prevention Knowledge Base
Behavioral Interventions: Mass Media and HIV Prevention
Using Culture-Centered Qualitative Formative Research to Design Broadcast Messages for HIV Prevention for African American Adolescents
Formative research is key to the development of campaign messages. This article describes a culture-centered approach for developing eight radio and two television advertisements to promote sexual risk reduction in urban African-American adolescents. Two key barriers to sexual risk reduction emerged from the research: 1) social pressure for early initiation of sexual intercourse; and 2) perceptions that condoms reduce sexual pleasure. By focusing on how teens resolve conflicts around sexual risk reduction, the researchers provided the creative team with ideas for modeling realistic arguments for sexual risk reduction in HIV prevention messages. Campaign messages focused on counter arguments that teens can use to overcome these barriers. Pressure to initiate intercourse was addressed by emphasis on respect, and the perception that condoms reduce sexual pleasure was addressed by the counter argument that condoms reduce feelings of stress and worry.
Soul City Institute Regional Programme 2002–2007 Impact Evaluation
The Soul City Regional Programme is a regional HIV/AIDS communication project in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. This document evaluates the impact of 20 media campaigns taking place in these countries between 2002 and 2007. The project achieved and often surpassed regional objectives such as reaching 40% of the population with their campaigns and 15% of those exposed to project materials adopting positive behavior changes. In addition to providing regional data, this evaluation provides succinct summaries of the individual country findings. Among those exposed to the media interventions throughout the region, compelling increases were found in obtaining HIV testing and asking a partner to get tested. Positive effects of the communication campaigns were found on condom use, stigma reduction, and partner reduction, with varying degrees of success taking place in the different countries.
MTV's “Staying Alive” Global Campaign Promoted Interpersonal Communication about HIV and Positive Beliefs about HIV Prevention
Airing worldwide on MTV, the Staying Alive campaign consisted primarily of 30-second public service announcements about HIV. Researchers used cross-sectional, population-based surveys among 6,000 youth in Kathmandu, Nepal , São Paolo, Brazil, and Dakar, Senegal to assess the campaign’s effect on interpersonal communication about HIV/AIDS and beliefs about HIV prevention behavior. Exposure to Staying Alive was associated with youths talking to someone about HIV: with a sex partner in Brazil and Senegal, parents in Brazil, siblings in Senegal, and a teacher or counselor in Nepal. Exposure to the campaign was significantly associated with positive beliefs about HIV prevention behaviors in all three sites. Furthermore, interpersonal communication about HIV was also positively associated with HIV prevention beliefs, regardless of who the discussion was with. Given similar positive findings from three very different settings, the authors conclude that their findings provide evidence that a global mass media campaign can indeed change social norms.
Monograph: Getting the Message Across: The Mass Media and the Response to AIDS
This publication examines the importance of media in the discourse and response to HIV in South Africa, assessing its role as a conduit to air public concerns as well as providing accurate information to challenge stigma and discrimination. It profiles “Soul City,” a television and radio soap opera that addresses a range of health issues, the Community Health Media Trust, which uses the media to give a voice to people with HIV through its program, “Beat It,” and Talalani Sesame, programming for children. Among many others, key lessons drawn from media implementation include: a mix of media enables projects to maximize impact; mass media projects require a team with many different skills and viewpoints; involving creative people in the development of messages is crucial; enabling the general public to interact with a mass media project or campaign can promote awareness, debate, and personal issue identification; and ensuring involvement of researchers and rigorous research enhances credibility and contributes to developing a quality product.