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NATIONAL HIV/AIDS RESEARCH AND BEST PRACTICES CONFERENCE - page 17 / 103

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A.11.Right techniques and methodologies – the answer to HIV Prevention in rural communities

by  Z.H.W. Kaunda

Objective and Scope:Everybody talks of HIV/AIDS effects and prevention. People have seen people dying.  Programs are galore trying to warn people about the dangers and prevention of HIV/AIDS and yet somehow these do not seem to arrest the attitudes, behavours and practices of people that proliferate HIV in the area.  The paper seeks to outline a conceptual Framework that seems to provide the probably communication strategy for preventing and mitigating against HIV/AIDS.

MethodologyThe unique social mobilization conceptual framework

utilizes four core components i.e. Research and Verification, using Theatre for Development (action research), Field extension workers (grass root change agents, special groups like initiation counselors) training on participatory methodologies, community-based sensitization and community based initiatives and other support components which include: - Stakeholder Involvement, Role Model Initiative, Mass Communication Interventions and an ongoing process of Monitoring and Evaluation.

Results The outcome is almost always myriad of community based initiatives addressing cultural (renouncing Chithuthu changing initiation curriculum), ignorance (peer outreach workers, religious leaders like sheiks, Gule wamkulu {big dance}, initiation counselors) holding meetings.  Young “friends” going for HIV/AIDS screening before marrying etc.

Conclusion: The approach allows people to come up with solutions on HIV/AIDS prevention rather than being told what to do.  This is more sustainable as evidenced by the project that was done 5 years ago which is still producing results.

Recommendations: There is need to share this methodology to other stakeholders that are working in the field of HIV prevention.

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