Effects of a mass media intervention on HIV-related stigma: 'Radio Diaries' program in Malawi

Health Educ Res. 2011 Jun;26(3):456-65. doi: 10.1093/her/cyr012. Epub 2011 Mar 10.


HIV-related stigma has been recognized as a significant public health issue, yet gaps remain in development and evaluation of mass media interventions to reduce stigma. The Malawi 'Radio Diaries' (RD) program features people with HIV telling stories about their everyday lives. This study evaluates the program's effects on stigma and the additional effects of group discussion. Thirty villages with 10 participants each were randomized to listen to RD only, to the program followed by group discussion or to a control program. Post-intervention surveys assessed four stigma outcomes: fear of casual contact, shame, blame and judgment and willingness to disclose HIV status. Regression analyses indicated that fear of casual contact was reduced by the intervention. Shame was reduced by the radio program, but only for those reporting prior exposure to the radio program and for those who did not have a close friend or relative with HIV. Shame was not reduced when the radio program was followed by discussion. The intervention reduced blame for men and not women and for younger participants but not older participants. Including people with HIV/AIDS in mass media interventions has potential to reduce stigma.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Malawi
  • Male
  • Prejudice*
  • Radio*
  • Young Adult