Communication strategies for fighting HIV/AIDS : A case study of New Start Centre - Lusaka

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Siamoongwa, Phanetey Mweetwa
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The purpose of the study was to ascertain the communication strategies for fighting HIV/AIDS used by New Start Centre. It was sought to establish the nature of and extent to which communication strategies used by New Start are utilised in reaching out to the communities. The study also sought to establish whether the communication strategies are adequate to deliver the HIV/AIDS messages. It was sought to investigate the adequacy of the information received about HIV/AIDS. It also probed on the knowledge and understanding of clients of about HIV/AIDS as well as ascertaining how New Start Centre looked at the role of the media in the face of HIV/AIDS.During the study, questionnaires were distributed to 110 respondents. 100 were clients that came for VCT and 10 were members of staff These were believed to have knowledge about New Start activities in its fight against HIV/AIDS. Besides, the researcher held focus group discussions with workers and volunteers of the organisation. In depth interviews to workers and the Site Manager were also conducted. A statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) was used to analyse quantitative data while qualitative data was analysed thematically. The study is useful particularly to those organisations like New Start, its affiliated projects and other organisations dealing with the fight against HIV/AIDS. For these, the study will help them in arriving at the appropriate communication strategy for disseminating HIV/AIDS to the public. The findings of the study revealed that the communication strategies used by New Start are radio television, brochures, magazines, newsletters, meetings workshops and other interpersonal strategies. In addition to these, mobile activities are also utilised in reaching out to the public.The findings further established that New Start respects the role of the media in the fight against HIV/AIDS, because without the media, the fight would not be easily overcome. The organisation through the media, reach different communities using television, radio,film, the World Wide Web, music, CD's, newspapers, books, brochures and magazines and other media vehicles.
AIDS (Disease) , Communication