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Health Educ Res. 2011 Oct;26(5):770-81. doi: 10.1093/her/cyr022. Epub 2011 May 2.

Cell phone usage among adolescents in Uganda: acceptability for relaying health information.

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Internet Solutions for Kids, 1820 E. Garry Ave. Suite 105, Santa Ana, CA 92705, USA.


The increase in cell phone use has manifested a growing interest in using this technology for health promotion. The portability and 'always on' features of the cell phone, along with increasing capability for the devices to carry and transfer data suggest that they will reach more people than computers and the Internet in coming years. Self-reported quantitative survey data from 1503 secondary school students in Mbarara, Uganda collected in 2008-2009 suggest that 27% currently have cell phones and about half (51%) of all students and 61% of those who owned a cell phone believe that they would access a text messaging-based HIV prevention program if it were available. Other forms of program delivery modality (e.g. Internet, religious organizations, schools) were preferred to text messaging however. We are in need of effective HIV prevention programs that can reach large audiences at low cost and are culturally relevant for the East African context. Researchers are encouraged to consider translation of effective HIV prevention programs for cell phone delivery in Africa.

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