Background: In response to the growing HIV epidemic in Nigeria, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) initiated the VISION Project, which aimed to increase use of family planning, child survival, and HIV/AIDS services. The VISION Project used a mass-media campaign that focused on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS prevention. This paper assesses to what extent program exposure translates into increased awareness and prevention of HIV/AIDS.
Methods: This analysis is based on data from the 2002 and 2004 Nigeria (Bauchi, Enugu, and Oyo) Family Planning and Reproductive Health Surveys, which were conducted among adults living in the VISION Project areas. To correct for endogeneity, two-stage logistic regression is used to investigate the effect of program exposure on 1) discussion of HIV/AIDS with a partner, 2) awareness that consistent condom use reduces HIV risk, and 3) condom use at last intercourse.
Results: Exposure to the VISION mass media campaign was high: 59%, 47%, and 24% were exposed to at least 1 VISION radio, printed advertisement, or TV program about reproductive health, respectively. The differences in outcome variables between 2002 baseline data and the 2004 follow-up data were small. However, those with high program exposure were almost one and a half (Odds Ratio [O.R.] = 1.47, 95% Confidence Interval [C.I.] 1.01-2.16) times more likely than those with no exposure to have discussed HIV/AIDS with a partner. Those with high program exposure were over twice (O.R. = 2.20, C.I. 1.49-3.25) as likely as those with low exposure to know that condom use can reduce risk of HIV infection. Program exposure had no effect on condom use at last sex.
Conclusion: The VISION Project reached a large portion of the population and exposure to mass media programs about reproductive health and HIV prevention topics can help increase HIV/AIDS awareness. Programs that target rural populations, females, and unmarried individuals, and disseminate information on where to obtain condoms, are needed to reduce barriers to condom use. Improvements in HIV/AIDS prevention behaviour are likely to require that these programmatic efforts be continued, scaled up, done in conjunction with other interventions, and targeted towards individuals with specific socio-demographic characteristics.