Author Affiliation, Ana.
Caribbean Institute of Media Communication
Communication for HIV/AIDS prevention in Kenya: Social-cultural considerations
Journal of health communication
Date of Publication
Explores the use of the mass media and other communication interventions in Kenya to inform the public about AIDS epidemic and to promote behaviour change and healthy sexual practices. The author examines the discrepancy between awareness and behavioural change among Kenyans of reproductive age from a communication perspective by addressing social cultural and related factors contributing to the lack of change in behaviour and sexual practices. The article draws on the theoretical framework of Gunig's model of excellence in communication, the importance of understanding and relationship-building between programmes and their stakeholders. Data were gathered qualitatively using focus groups and in-depth interviews among men and women in rural Kenya. Key findings indicate that although awareness of Sexually Transmitted Disease, HIV/AIDS is high in Kenya, a majority of the population, particularly those in the rural communities, fail to understand methods of transmission, particularly among those not sexually involved. The author concludes that successful behaviour change communication must include strategies that focus on increasing understanding of the commmunicated messages and understanding of the audience through application of appropriate methodologies. Building a relationship with the audience or stakeholder through dialogues and two-way symmetrical communication contributes toward this understanding and the maintenance of the newly adopted behaviours and practices.....