University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för strategisk kommunikation

Abstract: Problem: HIV/AIDS is one of the most challenging health and development issues of modern times. This study takes place in Ghana, which is one of the countries that have made progress in the HIV/AIDS work during the last years. Information of HIV infection and prevention has increased in Ghana within the past few years, but behaviour change is yet a big issue to face and condom use remains low, especially among the youth. Ghana Aids Commission has set up a strategy plan describing communication prevention interventions to reach the vision of a country with a prevalence rate of 0%, but there are no practical guidelines or strategies for how to reach the youth group. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate how Ghana Aids Commission and non-governmental organizations work with Behaviour Change Communication against HIV to reach out to the youth (age 15 to 24) in Ghana. Methodology: The study is based on a case study of Ghana Aids Commission. Qualitative interviews and a text analysing of a strategy plan were the source to the empirical material. Eight interviews were done with people working with HIV/AIDS interventions at different organizations. Conclusion: The study shows that Ghana Aids Commission has to develop a communication plan for the youth target group to improve the communication work. A communication plan with segmentation, targeted objectives, messages, communicators and channels has to be formulated in order to make the communication more efficient and adapted to the youth group. A combination of mass media and interpersonal communication is the most effective way to reach the youth and make them adopt a safe sexual behaviour.

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