Author(s): Cherie A, Mitkie G, Ismail S, Berhane Y
This study was conducted to assess the perceived sufficiency and usefulness of HIV/AIDS information, education and communication (IEC) messages and materials as well as to identify preferences for IEC sources and methods. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire and focus group discussions. A total of 901 students in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, participated in the study. Over three quarters of the respondents believed in the usefulness of IEC. IEC materials were perceived to be useful in increasing knowledge about HIV/AIDS by 456 (51%), to influence attitude by 357 (40%) and to acquire safer sexual practices by 382 (42%) of the respondents. None of the information sources and messages available for high school students highly satisfied the sufficiency indicators. Even though no single information source was highly preferred, radio and television ranked top. Life skills training was the most desired intervention by the students. IEC on HIV/AIDS was able to acquaint students with the disease rather than equipping them with knowledge and skill needed in their daily life. Therefore, appropriate and mutually reinforcing IEC messages with emphasis on life skill training are recommended.