Your Demand Creation Campaign Strategy
Audience: This is the population that you are looking to target, or speak to, with your PrEP communications campaign.
The general public may not be at high risk, but they may contribute to the stigma around HIV and have significant influence over those who are at high risk for HIV. Key audiences and influencers within this group may include sexual partners, clients of sex workers, parents, community leaders, peers and teachers. Whether these individuals identify with the risk of HIV or not, many react to the issue by either denying the existence of HIV altogether or by discriminating against those who are HIV positive (or those whom they believe to be HIV positive based on assumptions and judgments). These attitudes and beliefs effectively hinder the effective prevention of HIV thereby perpetuating the epidemic.
The general public is a critical target audience with regards to cultivating an environment where others can embrace PrEP.
Problem: The core problem you are trying to address.
Views about sex vary based on personal ideologies. Some individuals believe sex should only occur between a man and a woman, while others believe sex should only occur between married couples, or that young people should not be having sex at all. People who hold these beliefs tend to view methods that enable “safe sex” i.e. preventing sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy as inadvertently encouraging immorality and promiscuity – hence their lack of support for PrEP.
Advocating for PrEP seemingly condones the immoral, promiscuous behavior they disapprove of.
Strategic idea: The most powerful idea that can address the problem.
The strongest communities support PrEP.
Support: Reasons that support the audience’s belief in the strategic idea.
- PrEP makes us stronger by combatting the spread of HIV and protecting the lives of our loved ones.
- Using PrEP is a form of practicing “safe sex”; now, in addition to condoms, PrEP provides an added layer of protection. That means it helps keep us healthy and HIV-free so we can stand up to this epidemic and end its stronghold over our current and future generations.
- When used correctly and consistently, PrEP is proven to be highly effective in reducing one’s risk of acquiring HIV.
- Because PrEP doesn’t protect against STI’s, it should be used together with condoms.
- PrEP does not protect against pregnancy.
Channel Recommendations: Clinic
- Printed materials: Posters, brochures and leaflets to have in and around clinics and healthcare centers.
- IPC: Training and working with community mobilizers and peer outreach teams.
- Social media and online: Clinics and implementing partners have the opportunity to use social media to deliver prevention and implementation messages, as well as basic information (like hours of availability).
Tips for Connecting with Your Audience
- Keep it simple: Keep the communications as focused, straightforward, and as single-minded as possible. Communicating a message that is single-minded (i.e. one takeway) aids recall of the message and is more effective overall.
- Educate on HIV risk and PrEP: Addressing common, broad misperceptions and misunderstandings about HIV risk and transmission, as well as PrEP, among the general population may help decrease stigma and aid community-wide acceptance. In addition to providing information, it may be necessary to dispel common myths, thus making it easier for at-risk populations to initiate. 1
- Foster conversation: One study found that negative attitudes and perceived discrimination towards people living with HIV/AIDS were related to a lack of knowledge about treatment, a lack of prior history of HIV testing, and not having discussed HIV/AIDS with anyone.2 Discussion about HIV/AIDS with a view to increasing peoples’ knowledge about the disease may result in decreasing HIV-related stigma. It may even reduce risk behaviors related to HIV. HIV prevention efforts and stigma-reduction programs should incorporate novel approaches to foster discussion about HIV/AIDS in informal settings. 2
- Normalize HIV: Through persistent and omnipresent messaging, communications may normalize conversations about HIV risk and prevention. The repeated presence of HIV prevention messages can help to instill recognition throughout society that HIV is a public health issue relevant to everyone, and that health access is a universal right.
- Who delivers the message: Include both HIV-positive and -negative individuals as message-bearers. By placing both visibly as recognizable members of the community, such communications may help decrease the stigma associated with those who may have HIV or may be at risk.
- Cultivate contacts: To further normalize conversations about HIV, it may be beneficial to create opportunities for the general population to informally interact with people who are HIV negative but at risk, as well as people living with HIV.
According to the qualitative analysis memos from the Reaching High Risk Women for PrEP: Learning from ARV-based HIV prevention trials study, provided by K Stankevitz, MSc, in May 2018.
Stoneburner R, Low-Beer D. Population-level HIV declines and behavioral risk avoidance in Uganda. Science. 2004;304(5671):714-18. doi: 10.1126/science.1093166.