Tag Archives: behavior change theory

Uganda to Revamp its HIV Prevention Message

“We shall use basic facts in the messages to communicate effectively because we have realized that the level of knowledge about basic facts on HIV information is quite limited,” said Saul Onyango, senior health educationist with the Uganda AIDS Commission (UAC).

The UAC, after feeling that Uganda’s messages were less successful than hoped, will re-define high-risk sex from “sex with irregular partner” to “anyone whose HIV status is unknown.” An at-risk population now includes anyone engaged in risky sex. Generic warnings about risky sex will now be favored over targeted messages, such as those about inter-generational sex.

“We have to change the destiny of this country, even if it means putting back the drums of the 1980s that used to frighten people,” said UAC director-general, David Kihumuro Apuuli. The center of a 1980s radio campaign in Uganda featured an ominous drumbeat and “AIDS kills.” Some in Uganda would like to see fear-driven campaigns return, believing them to be successful. The other side of the debate worries that scare tactics do not lead to behavior change but encourage fatalism and discrimination.

Those in Uganda’s leadership also voice a worry rarely heard – that funding for HIV prevention programs largely comes from donors and is unsustainable.

A lot to think about. We recommend reading the full article here to gain the most insight.

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“Behavior Change and HIV Prevention: [Re]Considerations for the 21st Century”

The Global HIV Prevention Working Group published a report in August 2008 about the efficacy of behavior-base HIV prevention and the myths behind HIV prevention efforts in general.  They argue that better and wider application of behavior change strategies are the only way to reverse the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

As our group has recently transitioned from “ABC” to “Behavior Change,” this report is really insightful on how AIDSTanzania can improve our strategies on the ground and campaign for better policies.  The report can be found here.

“The Global HIV Prevention Working Group is a panel of over 50 leading public health experts, clinicians, biomedical and behavioral researchers, advocates, and people affected by HIV/AIDS, convened by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. The Working Group seeks to inform global policy-making, program planning, and donor decisions on HIV prevention, and to advocate for a comprehensive response to HIV/AIDS that integrates prevention, treatment, and care. More
information and Working Group publications are available here.”

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