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International News

South Africa: TV and Radio Shows on AIDS "Have Profound Effect"

November 8, 2006

Fourteen television and radio programs and four print media campaigns to raise AIDS awareness in South Africa have had "very profound" effects on people's attitudes and behavior, found a survey released Monday.

A youth drama series aired on the South African Broadcasting Network (SABC), "Tsha Tsha," had "significant impacts" on viewer condom use, HIV discussion, testing and helping people with HIV/AIDS, the survey showed. Half of those who tested for HIV did so within the last year, which Dr. Warren Parker, executive director of "Tsha Tsha," attributed "with great confidence" to the campaigns. Fourteen million people watched the series at least once. "Soul City," another program, reached 70 percent of the population and significantly reduced HIV/AIDS stigma.

Condom use increased from 34 percent among those not reached by any of the campaigns to 60 percent among those exposed to 10 or more programs, said Dr. Lawrence Kincaid, associate scientist in the department of health at Johns Hopkins University.

White South Africans are "particularly under-accessed" by the AIDS campaigns, due to SABC's requirement that 80 percent of programming be in indigenous languages, said Dr. Sue Goldstein, who works on "Soul City." The focus on black people was partly due to budget constraints and partly reflects that blacks are the most affected population, said Dr. Saul Johnson, research manager for the consortium managing South Africa's AIDS media campaign Khomanani.

The survey questioned 8,000 South Africans ages 15-65 about the "Tsha Tsha," "Soul City," and "Takalani Sesame" shows, and the Khomanani and LoveLife programs. It was conducted by the Johns Hopkins University; Health Development Africa; the Center for AIDS Development, Research and Evaluation; and the Soul City Institute.

Back to other news for November 8, 2006

Adapted from:
Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)
11.06.2006; Thomas Hartleb

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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