The use of culturally themed HIV messages and their implications for future behaviour change communication campaigns: The case of Botswana
Author(s)JMN Pitso; Department of Population Studies, University of Botswana, Private Bag 00705, Gaborone, Botswana
AK Segobye; Deaprtment of Archaeology, University of Botswana
O Ntshebe; Department of Population Studies, University of Botswana, Private Bag 00705, Gaborone, Botswana
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AbstractThe ‘ABC' approach promoted at the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Botswana has failed to yield significant behaviour change. Formative research was conducted in urban, semi-urban and rural areas to explore how the use of sociocultural messages depicted in posters elicited people's response to HIV/AIDS-related behaviours.The research interrogated values and practices underpinning Tswana philosophy in relation to parentchild communication, voluntary counselling and testing, condom use and faithfulness. A total of 206 individuals aged 15 - 49 years were purposively interviewed.The results showed that this campaign was perceived as an activation of positive Batswana culture to modify harmful norms, values and social practices, drawing upon those cultural aspects favouring more positive behaviour.We conclude that behaviour change communication should promote links to cultural values and principles.This can be achieved by: communication in other languages in order to reach all groups in Botswana; providing opportunities for venturing into other ways of communicating HIV/AIDS messages to Batswana in light of literacy skills; and using communication media that is developed on the basis of cultural approaches and focuses on segmented population groups. Keywords: culture, culturally themed messages, values, practices, risk-related behaviours Journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS Vol. 3 (2) August 2006: 466-476
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