Mass Media as an HIV-Prevention Strategy: Using Culturally Sensitive Messages to Reduce HIV-Associated Sexual Behavior of At-Risk African American Youth

Adolescent Risk Communication Institute, Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania, 202 South 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3806, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 12/2009; 99(12):2150-9. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.155036
Source: PubMed


The evidence base and theoretical frameworks for mass media HIV-prevention campaigns in the United States are not well-developed. We describe an intervention approach using culturally sensitive mass media messages to enhance protective beliefs and behavior of African American adolescents at risk for HIV. This approach exploits the potential that mass media messages have, not only to reach a large segment of the adolescent population and thereby support normative change, but also to engage the most vulnerable segments of this audience to reduce HIV-associated risk behaviors. The results from an ongoing HIV-prevention trial implemented in 2 medium-sized cities in the United States illustrate the effectiveness of this intervention approach.

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