An Assessment of the effectiveness of the Communication strategies used in support groups for people living with HIV/AIDS in Lusaka

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Mseteka, Samson Newstead
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The study aimed to assess the effectiveness of the communication strategies used in support groups for people living with HIV/AIDS in Lusaka regarding HIV/AIDS prevention, reduction of stigmatisation and discrimination. The study was conducted between May and August, 2008. Data was collected in through the administration of structured questionnaires to 100 randomly selected respondents in 10 randomly selected HIV/AIDS support groups located in high-density areas in Lusaka. Data was also collected involving interviews with key informants from the Network of Zambian People Living with HIV/AIDS, Lusaka District Chapter Secretariat, and with 30 focal group participants purposively selected from support groups. The research findings were that person to person contact, testimonies from HIV-infected people, events and festivals were communication strategies mostly used by support groups to reach the community regarding HIV/AIDS prevention, reduction of stigma and discrimination. Communication strategies used by support groups are centrally planned and designed by implementing AIDS organisations and are therefore less effective.The researcher concluded that support group communication should be enhanced through partnership in planning and designing of communication messages at community level regarding HIVAIDS issues so that there is harmonisation and standardization of communication messages used by support groups and that NZP+ Secretariat should to establish a communication budget line for effective communication among support groups.
HIV/AIDS--Support groups , HIV/AIDS--Communication Strategies