An assessment of media campaigns and utilisation of Hiv/Aids voluntary testing and counseling (VCT) services in Kenya: a case study of Nairobi
Mugo, Anthony M
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This study sought to investigate the impact of Information, Education and Communication (lEC) campaigns on behaviour change among young people in relation to HIV/AIDS. It addressed the effect of such campaigns on demand for Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) services by young people and specifically focused on the Chanuka campaign. Funded by Family Health International, the campaign was coordinated by Population Services International (PSI) in conjunction with the communication firm LOWE Scanad between October 2002 and January 2003. The campaign itself was delivered through the mass media with the goal of increasing uptake of national VCT services. Its broad aim was to promote the possibility of a healthy, extended life among those who test HIV positive through the then new government treatment and comprehensive services, adding a benefit statement to previous VCT communications approach of promoting VCT as a positive life choice. Data was collected from randomly selected VCT centres which were in operation prior to the campaign with a view to investigating whether service consumer figures changed as a result of the campaign. A simple random sample of VCT centres was used. The resulting sample was a mix of VCT centres located across the various social economic areas in Nairobi. Visit figures prior to the campaign, during the campaign and after the campaign were compared in order to determine the impact of the campaign with a view to testing the broad hypothetical assumption that: Media campaigns are an effective tool for enhancing VCT service-seeking behaviour among young people in Nairobi. The results show a definite correlation between the campaign and increased demand for services suggesting that the campa~was successful. A clear gender difference was also observed with male and female visit patterns showing marked differences at the various centres in the study sample. These differences could be attributable to the fact males and females have different media habits. It is also noted that the more male than female celebrity models were used in the Chanuka campaign. Further research focusing on rural areas and preferably surveying young people themselves to explore ways of making future HIV/AIDS behaviour change lEe campaigns more effective is suggested.