Behavioural Change Communication (BCC) and the Response of Young Adults: The Case of Ethiopia

Type Journal Article - Save Lives Ethiopia (SaLE) Relief & Development Organization
Title Behavioural Change Communication (BCC) and the Response of Young Adults: The Case of Ethiopia
Volume 6
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2006
Page numbers 23
The spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Ethiopia threatens the social and economic well being of the nation. The high level of HIV/AIDS awareness, however, is not accompanied by a corresponding knowledge of specific behaviours to prevent infections. Although significant progress has been achieved in some areas (government response, implementation arrangement, increase in NGO involvement, etc) during t he past decade, surveys suggest that despite the fact that the majority of young people have heard of AIDS, many still do not know how to prevent transmission. Providing access to youth-friendly health services is an integral part of the national prevention policy/program. The main services necessary to prevent HIV and other STIs include providing access to information, condoms, voluntary counselling & testing (VCT ) treatment, and care for STIs and HIV/AIDS. Access to services remains insufficient in all settings. The number of condoms available has increased. However, the availability of condoms does not ensure that condoms are used. In addition, the proportions of young people using condoms is still very low, even when they have sex with non-regular partners. Change in risk behavior is believed to play a key role in reducing HIV/AIDS infection. Countries like Uganda have managed to substantially bring down prevalence rate over about a decade (1992-2000, USAID (2002). Thus experience teaches us that a well designed and contextualized behavior change communication is an effective strategy in reducing HIV/AIDS infection.

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