- Vincent, Robert
- Breaking Barriers: Effective Communication for Universal Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support by 2010
- Panos, October 2006, 30 pp
Reproduced with Panos's kind permission.
"Effective HIV and AIDS communication is central to the achievement of universal access. This paper reviews lessons learned from the response so far and suggests that there is an urgent need to strengthen communication approaches that look beyond narrow, short-term interventions focused on individual behaviours. Development actors must realistically and effectively engage the social, political and economic drivers of the epidemic, in a way that is informed by the experiences and priorities of those most affected. There is also a need to better understand and engage with the distinct communication dynamics of social movements and the neglected area of interpersonal communication - both of which are key to an effective response. The intransigent problems of stigma and discrimination must also be addressed. The challenge is at once social, political and technical, but without this paradigm shift in development and communication practice, universal access will remain elusive. As country-level plans for universal access are being developed in late 2006, it is vital that they explicitly include fully resourced communication strategies, activities and targets that are integrated into programming at all levels. Communications challenges include: the effective coordination of the response; sustained advocacy to tackle the underlying drivers of the epidemic; and the specific communication needs of prevention, treatment and care initiatives that require grassroots ownership and social mobilisation."