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AIDS Educ Prev. 2009 Oct;21(5):447-59. doi: 10.1521/aeap.2009.21.5.447.

Communication and the antiretroviral treatment rollout: beyond the medical model.

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  • 1Center for Communication Programs, 111 Market Pl., Suite 310, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA.

Abstract

With the advent of antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV/AIDS, governments and NGOs seek to increase the number of persons on this lifesaving medication and their adherence to the drug regimens. The conventional approach to communication within a clinical context includes provider-patient counseling, group education sessions, client information materials, and support groups. Given the layers of influence on an individual's behavior-spouse/family/friends, community, and societal-it is essential for the ART rollout to harness the power of complementary communication channels to create an enabling environment that supports individual behavior in terms of adherence. This article explores a series of communication vehicles-different forms of mass media and community mobilization-that complement the interpersonal communication/counseling within the medical model, and it provides examples from developing countries (largely sub-Saharan Africa) that have used them to good effect in the rollout of ART.

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