Author(s): Convisser J
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Abstract PIP: Health communicators use entertainment and mass media to prevent HIV transmission. Population Services International operates an AIDS Mass Media Project as an adjunct to its Condom Social Marketing Project. It collaborates with the Government of Zaire's National AIDS Program. Its 1st target is urban youth because most AIDS cases in Zaire were infected as teenagers, urban youth have access to television (TV), and they take part in high risk sexual behavior. The project uses various AIDS songs to reach this group. A 6-month posttest shows that the 1st song was so effective that 65\% heard it and that 93\% of them recalled the major AIDS messages and 85\% said that they changed their behavior. The project distributes a video of the 1990 World AIDS Day concert. Research in Zaire and other African countries shows that the threat AIDS poses to children's health strongly motivates parents' behavior. Thus the 2nd target is the 20-30 year old group--young and prospective parents. The project boasts a 4-part TV series about a groom who does not reveal his AIDS status to his young bride until after their wedding night. 2 scenes stress the benefits of condoms. After its 1st airing, 66\% of the 20-30 year old group in Kinshasa watched all 4 parts of the series. Of these, about 75\% said they would change their behavior. Most people in Zaire change behavior by using condoms. Indeed, during the mass media campaign, condom sales grew 1000\% which saved almost 7200 lives. The project also features comic strips informing working men and women and teenagers about AIDS and distributes an inexpensive notebook listening AIDS facts and myths for school children. The project uses regional radio stations to broadcast 28 AIDS feature programs, 22 radio spots, 8 AIDS radio dramas, and 2 songs to high priority rural areas. These AIDS radio efforts have indeed influenced AIDS knowledge and attitudes.
This article was published in Dev Commun Rep
and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense