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Mass Media as an HIV-Prevention Strategy: Using Culturally Sensitive Messages to Reduce HIV-Associated Sexual Behavior of At-Risk African American Youth



The evidence-base for mass media HIV prevention campaigns in the US is weak and the theoretical frameworks for such interventions are not well developed. In this paper we describe an approach to using culturally sensitive mass media messages to change the beliefs and behavior of African-American adolescents at risk for HIV. This approach exploits the potential that mass media messages have, not only to reach a large segment of the adolescent population and thereby supporting normative change, but also to engage the most at-risk segments of this group to change their behavior. We illustrate the effectiveness of this approach with results from an ongoing HIV-prevention trial directed to African-American adolescents in two medium sized cities in the US.


  • Larry K. Brown
  • Michael P. Carey
  • Ralph J. DiClemente
  • Michael Hennessy
  • Daniel Romer
  • Laura F. Salazar
  • Bonita F. Stanton
  • Sharon R.┬áSzmitman
  • Robert F. Valois
  • Peter A. Vanable