Selected Reviews of hiv/aids mass Media Campaigns

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Selected Reviews of HIV/AIDS Mass Media Campaigns




Studies reviewed



General HIV/AIDS campaigns

Holtgrave (1997)

HIV/AIDS mass media campaigns

Through Fall, 1996

49 studies conducted in 18 countries

  • Substantial increase in literature since previous review 1 year before

  • Most campaigns targeted general populations using a variety of media

  • Few outcome evaluation designs included control groups

  • No true studies of HIV campaign cost effectiveness

  • Cost effectiveness studies of HIV/AIDS media efforts urgently needed to help policy-makers in decisions about use of campaigns

  • Importance of campaigns in the HIV/AIDS area will continue to increase and will require more careful evaluation

Myhre & Flora (2000)

HIV/AIDS mass media campaigns (peer-reviewed articles only)

Through 1998

41 studies conducted in 17 countries

  • Majority of campaigns targeted general public (early campaigns focused on a broad, undefined audience)

  • Fewer than 20% used theory

  • Most (75%) used multiple communication channels

  • 62% provided a measure of campaign exposure

  • 17% included comparison/control groups

  • Knowledge and attitudes most common outcomes

  • More complete reporting of campaign components needed

  • Greater integration of theory needed

  • Better measurement of outcomes and evaluation of campaigns needed

  • Future campaigns should incorporate community-based and communitywide efforts

Palmgreen et al. (2008)

HIV/AIDS mass media campaigns (peer-reviewed articles only)


25 studies conducted in 20 countries

  • Campaigns are increasingly theory-based, targeted toward particular audience segments, focused on behavioral outcomes, and reporting higher campaign exposure rates

  • Newer campaigns are increasingly incorporating Internet websites

  • Campaigns used weak outcome evaluation designs. Only 3 studies included a control group.

  • Estimates of typical campaign effects are difficult to make given weak outcome evaluation designs used

  • Campaign designers should increasingly follow principles of effective campaign design to increase chances of success (e.g., Noar, 2006).

  • New studies using multiple principles of campaign design coupled with rigorous evaluation are needed

HIV/AIDS Campaigns in Developing Countries

Bertrand & Anhang (2006)

HIV/AIDS mass media campaigns targeting youth in developing countries


15 studies conducted in Africa, Latin America, and Asia

  • Campaigns increased HIV knowledge, condom self-efficacy, some social norms, interpersonal communication, awareness of health providers, and condom use

  • Less evidence for abstinence self-efficacy, delaying first sex and decreasing sex partners

  • Individuals more highly exposed to campaign messages showed greater changes (dose-response)

  • Work toward standardizing outcome variables

  • Few campaigns have been rigorously evaluated. Evaluate future large-scale campaigns using strong quasi-experimental designs that allow causality to be inferred

  • Conduct cost-effectiveness studies of campaigns

Bertrand et al (2006)

HIV/AIDS mass media campaigns in developing countries (peer-reviewed articles only)


24 studies conducted primarily in Africa, Asia, and Latin America / the Caribbean

  • Mixed results were found on outcome variables. Where effects were found, effect sizes were small to moderate

  • At least half of studies showed effects on HIV knowledge and reducing high-risk sexual behavior

  • Mixed effects on perceived risk, condom self-efficacy, interpersonal communication, abstinence, condom use

  • Many studies had weak outcome evaluation designs, making strong conclusions difficult

  • Need alternative methods for evaluating national campaigns

  • Need standardized outcomes and measures to improve comparability across studies

  • Need better reporting of campaign components

HIV Testing Campaigns

Vidanapath-irana et al. (2005)

HIV testing campaigns using controlled designs

Through April, 2004

14 studies conducted in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Israel

  • Short-term effects on testing behavior found in all 14 campaigns

  • No long-term effects were found

  • Mass media can be effective in promoting HIV testing behavior in the short term

  • Further research is needed on the effectiveness of different types of mass media, characteristics of messages, and cost effectiveness of campaigns

(Chapter 29, Exhibit 2)

Table 2
Selected Applications of Computer Technology-based Interventions in HIV/AIDS Prevention


Target Population




Scholes et al. (2003)

Heterosexually active, non-monogomous young women aged 18-24

Computer-tailored self-help magazine

Intervention participants received a magazine tailored on characteristics such as condom stage of change, barriers to condom use, and partner type

At 6-month follow-up, intervention participants exhibited higher condom self-efficacy, partner communication, condom carrying, and condom use compared to controls

Bull et al. (2004)

Men who have sex with men

Internet-delivered tailored intervention

Intervention participants received three role model stories tailored to their condom stage of change and encouraging incremental changes in condom use and STD/HIV testing

High attrition made outcome assessment problematic. At 3-month follow-up, intervention participants showed more willingness to visit STD prevention websites and were more likely to get tested for HIV, compared to controls

Kalichman et al. (2006)

Men and women living with HIV/AIDS

8-session intervention focused on Internet skills

In group sessions, intervention participants learned about the Internet and how to evaluate websites for health information, care and support resources, and clinical trials

At 9-month follow-up, intervention participants exhibited greater Internet use for health, information coping, and social support compared to an attention-matched control

Kiene & Barta (2006)

Heterosexual undergraduate students

On-screen computer-tailored intervention

Intervention participants interacted with a computer program that provided tailored feedback on safer sex information, motivation, and behavioral skills in the form of text, quizzes, activities, and skill-building exercises

At 1-month follow-up, intervention participants exhibited greater condom information, were more likely to keep condoms handy, and were more likely to use condoms compared to an attention-matched control

Read et al. (2006)

Caucasian men who have sex with men

Interactive video

Intervention participants engaged with an interactive video program that allowed them to go on a “virtual date,” make decisions related to safe sex, and observe the consequences of those decisions. They also met with a counselor.

At 3-month follow-up, intervention participants had increased protected anal sex and reduced unprotected anal sex compared to controls (who received counseling only)

Bowen et al. (2007)

Rural men who have sex with men

Internet-delivered intervention

Intervention participants interacted with a program which included dialogue between an HIV-positive and an at-risk HIV-negative gay man, interactive activities and graphics to illustrate key points

At 1-week follow-up, intervention participants exhibited increased knowledge, self-efficacy, and outcome expectancies compared to wait-list control

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