AIDS Communication


This document on AIDS communication was written for the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID) as a resource on the DFID approach to AIDS communication for its projects, programmes, and policy work. It both gives language considered appropriate by DFID, and demonstrates the social and ethical grounding for this language choice based on models, examples, and strategies now used by DFID. The intention of the document's communication strategies is to integrate communications on the continuum of prevention, treatment, and care, in order to ensure language meaning and continuity throughout the field of HIV/AIDS work. Communication strategies represented in the document emphasise education, information, community participation, and dialogue. Examples presented include creation of information-rich environments for HIV prevention and AIDS treatment and care that enables rather than stigmatises. In the prevention-treatment-care continuum, anti-retroviral treatment (ART) and other treatment possibilities present communication challenges of stigma and unrealistic expectations. However, they also present opportunities and incentive for communications like counselling in entry point care services, for example. A 'communications models and terminology' section summarises nine models currently in practice which range from community development partnerships to the multi-sector process of involving governments, organisations, communities, and the private sector in planning. An 'interpersonal and participatory communications' section includes one-to one professional advice, peer education, mentoring and counselling as well as community radio, theatre, role -playing training sessions, video, dance, and oral testimony. Strategic policy points emphasise the need for professionals to \"pass ownership\" (of communication interventions) to community groups, allowing them to \"claim the right to participate in decision making…\" resulting in dialogue in an appropriate socio-cultural context. In conclusion, the document focuses on the role and opportunities for DFID at the community, country, and international levels. It outlines for its desk officers a 5-point plan to begin HIV/AIDS-related planning. Appendices include a rapid reference guide, a guide for talking about HIV/AIDS using sensitive language, and key online resources and references.


Department for International Development, London, UK

AIDS Communication

Published 1 January 2005