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J Health Commun. 2011 Oct;16(9):1024-39. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2011.571342. Epub 2011 Jun 27.

Effectiveness of a mass media campaign in promoting HIV testing information seeking among African American women.

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  • 1RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.


"Take Charge. Take the Test." (TCTT), a media campaign promoting HIV testing among African American women, was piloted in Cleveland and Philadelphia from October 2006 to October 2007. This study assesses TCTT's effectiveness in promoting HIV testing information seeking among target audiences in each pilot city. The authors analyzed data on telephone hotlines promoted by the campaign and the Web site to examine trends in hotline calls and testing location searches before, during, and after the campaign. Cleveland hotline data were available from October 1, 2005, through February 28, 2008, for a total of 29 months (N = 126 weeks). Philadelphia hotline data were available from May 1, 2006, through February 28, 2008, for a total of 22 months (N = 96 weeks). The authors assessed the relation between market-level measures of the campaign's advertising activities and trends in hotline call volume and testing location searches. They found a significant relation between measures of TCTT advertising and hotline calls. Specifically, they found that increases in advertising gross ratings points were associated with increases in call volume, controlling for caller demographics and geographic location. The campaign had similar effects on HIV testing location searches. Overall, it appears the campaign generated significant increases in HIV information seeking. Results are consistent with other studies that have evaluated the effects of media campaigns on similar forms of information seeking. This study illustrates useful methods for evaluating campaign effects on information seeking with data on media implementation, hotline calls, and zip code-based searches for testing locations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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