Teenagers' perceptions of HIV/AIDS media interventions.

Mohammed, Atiyya
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The identified age group to be most at risk for HIV infection has been highlighted as the 12 to 20 year old range (Parker, 2007). It is hypothesised that a successful reduction in the rate of HIV infection among the teen age group will lead to a significant slowing of the epidemic. In order to achieve this reduction psychoeducational campaigns have been developed in South Africa as a means to educate the youth. However these campaigns have come under scrutiny for being ineffective. Literature around the effectiveness of these campaigns has largely been quantitative in nature. This study aimed to look at the qualitative perceptions of members of the target population aged between 12 to 17 years old. The study also aimed to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the campaigns. To attain this 35 participants were involved the study. Seven focus groups were conducted with 5 participants in each group. The participants were shown images of different psychoeducation media available in South Africa and thereafter a discussion was evoked. The focus groups were audio recorded and the data was transcribed. A thematic content analysis was conducted in order to identify themes. The themes were categorised and discussed under the broader heading of the four major campaigns – Lovelife, Khomanani, Entertainment Education, the Red Ribbon and arts initiatives such as murals. Finally recommendations were also considered for future interventions.