DD, NACO AIDS campaign a success, reveals survey

NEW DELHI: The latest survey on the impact of the HIV and AIDS awareness media campaign by Doordarshan, National AIDS Control Organisation ( Naco) and BBC World Service Trust reveals a significant positive change in regards to knowledge, attitudes and behaviour.

The survey conducted by ORG/Johns Hopkins University Centre in October-November 2002, (approximately 10 months after the media campaign got under way), took a sample size of more than 7,000 in the key Hindi-belt focus states.

According to a release , the survey indicates that the campaign's TV spots had reached more than 50 per cent of the target population (some 43 million people). Also, the campaign's interactive TV detective series Jasoos Vijay had reached more than 40 per cent of the target population (some 34 million people).

Interestingly, the survey also reveals that the TV spots had a substantial impact on people's actions and intentions. 11 per cent had already taken action as a result of the spots, and 40 per cent intended to do so in the next six months. Actions included condom use (approximately 25 per cent ), the discussion of condom use for protection against Sexually Transmitted Diseases (approximately 35 per cent ) and consulting a doctor on STI symptoms (approximately 15 per cent).

Similar findings were recorded for the serial Jasoos Vijay. The survey showed equally encouraging results for the campaign's TV youth show, Haath Se Haath Milaa, aimed at raising awareness among youngsters who are most vulnerable to AIDS. Surprisingly, around 90 per cent of young viewers recalled the key messages that AIDS spreads through unprotected sex with an infected person; through infected needles; through infected blood; and that AIDS was life threatening and had no cure.

The ORG/Johns Hopkins survey also examined the acceptability of the messages in the initial phase of TV spots. It showed that 95 per cent of respondents found the TV spots acceptable as between themselves and their spouses; 60 per cent found them acceptable among family members and 50 per cent found they were acceptable among friends. This finding reinforces the high level of acceptability for the spots established in pre-test surveys before the campaign was launched.

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