Communication for HIV prevention

The Society for Family Health (SFH) recognises that members of the public need quality information and a supportive environment in order to take on board and maintain practices that will reduce their risk of HIV infection.

SFH continually markets the HIV prevention services provided by its New Start programme in communities where these services are available. In addition, SFH engages in broader communication activities designed to persuade individuals to adopt safer sex options that is, using condoms consistently when they have sex, knowing their HIV status, limiting the number of sexual partners they have, and being aware how alcohol use may increase their sexual risk-taking.It also educates the public about medical male circumcision (MMC) and promotes New Start's MMC services.

Much of our communication activity falls into the area of social marketing, which combines commercial marketing techniques with health-promotion information. In other words, we strive to convey the seriousness of the continuing HIV epidemic and the risk it poses to individuals, families and communities while also presenting our New Start services as part of the solution.

Social marketing of the New Start brand is what drives uptake of our medical male circumcision services and our HIV testing services.

SFH utilizes a variety of communication channels, from mass media to below-the-line options, and places great emphasis on interpersonal communication and community mobilisation.