The impact of the anti-aids bill board media on knowledge of and attitudes about HIV/AIDS among urban students in Zambia
Mbozi, Shakantu Parkie
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The study which formed the basis for the discussions in this thesis was conducted between September 1995 and March 1996. The researcher visited 17 schools and eight colleges and the two universities in Lusaka, Ndola and Kitwe. The purpose of the study was to establish the students' knowledge attitudes and behavioural intentions about HIV/AIDS as well as to gather their perceptions about the role and effectiveness of the anti AIDS billboards in improving knowledge and attitudes about various aspects of the disease. A total of 531 secondary school, college and university students responded to a survey questionnaire mainly on knowledge and attitudes. Thirty six (36) billboards were visited for qualitative evaluation by 360 students (10 per billboard) for quality of messages, design, display and other factors which are considered crucial to the overall effectiveness of any billboard. The survey found high knowledge on general information about HIV/AIDS, tow on technical information and misconceptions on selected aspects of the disease. Apart from tow acceptance of condom use and traces of denial of AIDS, the students' attitudes, particularly on people with HIV or AIDS (stigmatisation), were found to be generally positive. With regard to the billboards, the results suggest that the students generally appreciate the need to use these media as means of communicating information on HIV and AIDS. However, it would appear that the generally poor designs, inappropriate messages and inaccessible or not easily accessible locations tend to affect the students' exposure and attention to, and retention of the current billboard messages. These three factors are the major determinants of the effectiveness of any billboard on knowledge, attitudes and behaviour change. Ultimately the impact of the current billboards in the three cities were found to be generally insignificant. The study contains specific recommendations on how knowledge and attitudes about the disease and the impact of the billboards as HIV/AIDS IEC materials may be enhanced to the appreciable levels.