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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
UWI Author(s)
Author, Analytic
de Bruin, Marjan
Author Role
Presenter
Author Affiliation
Caribbean Institute of Media Communications
Paper/Section Title
Communication's role as understood in HIV/AIDS regional and national policy
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Proceedings Title
International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR)
Date of Meeting
July 26- 28, 2005
Place of Meeting
Taipei, Taiwan
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Abstract
Policy references to social and behaviour change in relation to HIV/ AIDs are fraught with problems. First, it remains unclear what exactly is referred to by communication. It often seems to be used as a synonym, or perhaps a euphemism for using mass media. Second, communication regularly seems to be equated with the transfer of knowledge and assumes that this should lead to a necessary change in behaviour. This is so, in spite of the fact that research in various countries has shown that a general high level of knowledge on HIV/AIDS transmission may exist without change in behaviour or without as much or great a change as needed. In addition, there seems to be a disconnect between the multi-faceted analysis of HIV/AIDS as a social and individual problem on the one hand and the focus of communication efforts on the other. Several of the guiding principles or central strategies in each country's national strategic plan refer, although implicitly, to the role of communication and /or media. This paper identifies the basis, assumptions and expectations of and about these national communication efforts in relation to HIV/AIDS. It analyses the national strategic plans of seven Caribbean countries and their underlying, often implicit assumptions about what communication entails and where its focus should be. In its conclusions, it will attempt to explain why a more comprehensive understanding and approach of communication in relation to HIV/AIDs is necessary.....
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