The Impact of a Mass Media Campaign on HIV/AIDS Knowledge and Behavior Change in North India: Results from a Longitudinal Study
India has had a sharp increase in the estimated number of HIV infections, from a few thousand cases in the early 1990s to about 5.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS today. With a population of over one billion, the HIV epidemic in India will have a major impact on the overall spread of HIV in Asia and the Pacific, and worldwide. This article discusses the impact of a mass media entertainment-education campaign on HIV/AIDS in three low-HIV-prevalence north Indian states, New Delhi, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. We used three waves of data from an evaluation study to measure the effects of a mass media, entertainment-education campaign designed to improve knowledge about and prompt interpersonal communication on HIV/AIDS. Results showed that individuals who were exposed to the campaign were more likely (1) to be aware of sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, and condoms, (2) to know about the sexual routes of HIV transmission, (3) to have fewer misconceptions about HIV transmission, and (4) to talk to others about STIs, HIV/AIDS, and condoms than those who were not exposed to campaign messages. The impact of the campaign was limited with regard to changing condom-use behaviors.