Working closely with our partners, C-Change is developing innovative social and behavior change communication (SBCC) strategies and materials and building expertise on communication for HIV prevention. We deliver training, mentoring, and hands-on support to strengthen the capacity of governments and large and small organizations to design and implement effective, evidence-based SBCC programs.
C-Change also conducts research and monitoring and evaluation that inform sustainable new SBCC approaches to HIV prevention. We are engaged in formative research on key drivers of the epidemic in each country where we work. For example, in Namibia, Lesotho, and other countries in southern Africa, a key driver is unprotected sex with multiple, concurrent partners. C-Change is working to understand behavioral determinants and social and cultural environments that enable this practice.
- C-Change developed the Community Conversation Toolkit, a set of six materials on HIV prevention, to assist communities in the southern Africa region to initiate discussions around key drivers of HIV.
- In Lesotho, C- Change created a community dialogue tool, Relationships: Intimacy Without Risk, in Sesotho and English, to guide structured dialogues that engage communities in productive conversations about the HIV risks of multiple concurrent partnerships (MCP). C-Change also collaborated with the regional ONELove campaign to produce billboards, radio and television shows, and other materials appropriate for Lesotho.
- In Namibia, C-Change contributed to the national Break the Chain campaign on MCP by producing materials that can form part of a behavior change curriculum and used to guide discussions in community, workplace, and clinical settings.C-Change is also strengthening the capacity of PEPFAR-supported NGOs to elevate the quality of HIV prevention activities at community levels with effective SBCC.
- In Swaziland, C-Change has been assisting the Ministry of Health and the National Emergency Response Council on HIV/AIDS (NERCHA) to complete the Kingdom's national behavior change communication strategy. C-Change is also working to strengthen the capacity of NGOs to design and implement effective SBCC programs for HIV prevention and engaging the media in the response to the epidemic.
Communication to Promote Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision
Male circumcision (MC) was reported in 2005 to reduce HIV risk among heterosexual men by as much as 60 percent. Some geographic areas of Kenya have low MC rates, based on cultural traditions. To increase these rates—and in light of the evidence of clinical trials—C-Change is supporting the the Government of Kenya's Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) Program by providing technical support to the Kenya National Taskforce on VMMC and to regional communication sub-committees. The goal is to create demand for voluntary MC and reinforce that, while MC reduces risk for men, it does not prevent HIV and must be combined with other prevention behaviors to be effective. To that end, C-Change and local partners participated in the development of the first phase of the Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) Communication Toolkit. The toolkit currently comprises a comprehensive communication strategy and billboards, posters, flip charts for health providers, radio spots, fact sheets, dialogue cards, and a handbook for community mobilizers. These innovative materials target Nyanza Province, a priority area for the national government. The Ministry of Health reported in 2008 that the province’s HIV prevalence is 15% and that it has the lowest percentage of circumcised men in the country. The communication toolkit is available for download at www.c-hubonline.org/7815. Additional communication materials targeting other geographic areas in Kenya are currently under development.
With C-Change support, the African Broadcast Media Partnership (ABMP) is producing radio and TV programming for the It Begins with YOU campaign that promotes services for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and the reduction of HIV stigma. C-Change conducted an SBCC capacity building workshop with the creative subcommittee of ABMP, provided information on PMTCT, and assisted the development of production guides. View materials on C-Hub.