AFFORD Tells Ugandans to Prevent HIV, "Get Off the Sexual Network"!

Image from the billboards, with child saying "mummy get off the sexual network."

The One Love campaign kicked off in Uganda and has created a buzz that is seen as provocative and informative, bringing attention to the trend of sexually active adults having multiple and concurrent partners (a “side dish” or “take away”). The primary campaign message is “The Sexual Network Does Not Stop with You. Get off the Sexual Network!” The campaign illustrates that being unfaithful—having a side dish—puts one on the sexual network placing one at greater risk for HIV infection.
The campaign addresses an increase in new cases of HIV/AIDS among married couples in Uganda.
The overall objective is to be faithful—one love—and to increase serial monogamy among the target population by five percent from September 2009 to May 2010. The campaign targets women (20-29 years) and men (25-39 years) either married or in long-term relationships, well educated, in the wealthier quintiles and living in urban areas throughout Uganda.

The campaign takes a phased approach for the target audience with messages that use the health belief model, which focuses on the individual and the belief in one’s ability to change. The three phases of the campaign builds the messages: first, to understand the sexual network (phase 1), to understand the impact of the network on partners and family (phase 2) and in the last phase, to understand the devastating effects of this behavior on children. There are a number of outlets being used in the campaign including TV and radio spots, local theatre, and radio skits with call-ins. The Uganda Ministry of Health is endorsing the campaign in TV spots that are currently airing.

While impact data is not yet available, the campaign has created a buzz in the local media and the phrase “sexual network” is now a hot topic and is being used in everyday conversation, in the media and in social networking media such as Facebook. The campaign has a group on Facebook called Get off the Sexual Network: One Love where Ugandans exchange thoughts about the topic, and comments are monitored by technical experts who provide accurate information and guidance.

CCP’s AFFORD is a five-year project that delivers affordable health care solutions using innovative marketing and communication approaches. The project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

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