This is a collection of real life examples of how organizations have used the Accelerator to help create demand for PrEP.
Drafting a demand creation strategy
When the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Care, planned an introduction and rollout of PrEP, with Pangaea Zimbabwe AIDS Trust (PZAT), and other partners, they set ambitious goals: To reach high-risk groups (such as men who have sex with men, transgender and adolescent girls and young women) as well as other people who perceive themselves to be at substantial risk. The team tasked with developing a national HIV prevention, care and treatment communications strategy had the resources to engage 13 population groups directly through key informant interviews, consultations and focus groups. With a wide group of stakeholders involved in the effort, they needed an overall vision and guidance on the best way to approach drafting a new demand creation campaign strategy.
From the earliest stages, the team used the PrEP Communications Accelerator to guide and support its work—even the initial Terms of Reference, used to recruit the consulting team, drew from PrEP Communications Accelerator materials. Throughout the process, resources from the PrEP Communications Accelerator served as useful guides for deeper local research; for example, insights from the Audience Profiles served as the foundation for focus group questioning. And even though the team was engaging a far wider group of audiences than those found in the PrEP Communications Accelerator, they were able to use the research as a guide for creating questions about audience motivations, behaviors, and relationship to high-risk activities. In other words, the PrEP Communications Accelerator was a true jumping-off point.
The team has drafted the official communications strategy, based on primary research and a process that has been buttressed by the PrEP Communications Accelerator from start to finish. More broadly, PrEP Communication Accelerator materials have helped to align diverse stakeholders and develop a shared vision for their work: Outputs from the “Communications Fast Tracker” have been used as a model for team members as well as participants in stakeholder interviews, and the “Demand Creation 101” section was shared with high-level partners and ministry officials, especially those without much professional background in communication. Feedback on the PrEP Communications Accelerator from all partners has been positive, and the national HIV prevention, care and treatment communications strategy was completed in April, 2019.
Linkages Across the Continuum of HIV Services for Key Populations Affected by HIV (LINKAGES)—a global project funded by USAID and PEPFAR to deliver HIV prevention, care, and treatment services to key populations—began working with Eswatini’s Ministry of Health to launch one of three PrEP demonstration projects. During the implementation of the project, the LINKAGES team found that groups and organizations across the country working to implement PrEP were struggling to create demand and, among those who chose to use PrEP, continuation over time was low. In order to address the demand and PrEP continuation challenges identified, the team sought to carry out informal dialogues with members of key populations to better understand the needs of current and potential PrEP users in the country. As a starting point, LINKAGES used the PrEP Communications Accelerator to better understand these factors across a range of settings, particularly how PrEP fits into the lives of the populations they wanted to reach.
The team used the Community Dialogue Discussion Guide Template to prepare for and inform the community dialogues they were conducting. They also looked closely at the Audience Profiles to gain insight into the specific, PrEP-related needs of key populations that may be relevant in Eswatini. Because the profiles are filled with information that includes suggested communication messages that have resonated with relevant audiences in other countries, LINKAGES was able to fast-track their community dialogues by calibrating and building off of messages that had already been validated elsewhere.
Being able to access deep, quality information in one place allowed the LINKAGES team to more quickly and efficiently prepare for the dialogues they needed to hold as well as craft questions to ensure that they got specific, useful information to inform their future PrEP-related activities. The information from the Audience Profiles was used as a substitute for substantial portions of the literature review process that typically informs the community dialogue preparation process. While the PrEP demand generation activities are still being developed, the PrEP Communications Accelerator has already been useful in laying the groundwork for the project’s PrEP dialogues and message development. “The [PrEP Communications] Accelerator is terrific. It’s clear that so much work has gone into every component of it,” says Rose Wilcher, LINKAGES’ Director of Knowledge Management. “As someone who works everyday on key population-related programming, sometimes it can be really hard to get communications right. The profiles did a good job in capturing the nuances and concerns of key populations related to PrEP use.”