232121 Increasing the rates of voluntary testing using youth-produced HIV messages: Intervention research on a school-based program in Dakar

Monday, November 8, 2010

Philip M. Massey, MPH , Department of Community Health Sciences, UCLA School of Public Health, Santa Monica, CA
Alexandre Rideau, MA , Réseau Africain d'Education pour la Santé, Réseau Africain d'Education pour la Santé, Dakar, Senegal
A concerning rise in HIV prevalence among Senegalese youth was observed between 2005 and 2007; estimates indicate that among youth aged 15-24 years, HIV prevalence has increased from 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent in males and 0.5 percent to 0.8 percent in females. This intervention research tests whether a school-based social media intervention can impact Senegalese adolescents' knowledge, attitudes, and behavior concerning HIV/AIDS stigma, discrimination, and voluntary testing. The Réseau Africain d'Éducation pour la Santé (RAES), an NGO located in Dakar, addressed this issue by training Senegalese adolescents to become the next generation of peer-to-peer educators through the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). To accomplish this, youth formed clubs at three schools and designed, wrote, and produced content concerning HIV/AIDS. RAES partnered with Dakar-based human rights and AIDS-advocacy organizations to accomplish this work. All youth-produced content, including videos, songs, radio shows, and journalism news, is posted on the social media website “Sunukaddu” – meaning ‘Our Voice' in Wolof. To measure the impact of the intervention, we sampled 2,400 students from three intervention schools and one comparison school, all located in Dakar. Baseline data collected in 2008 will be compared to data collected in 2010 and used to assess adolescents' changes in knowledge, attitudes and behavior. Of particular interest is increasing the percent of students who have been tested for HIV/AIDS. The second wave of data collection will also collect information on the level of exposure and participation in the clubs, lending to a dose-response analysis.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe materials developed and research methodologies that were used to create and evaluate a school-based social media intervention among Senegalese youth in Dakar. Value youth-produced content as an important health-messaging tool for youth. Analyze the effect of different levels of exposure and participation in youth-led clubs on outcomes.

Keywords: Global Education, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Delta Omega student nominee
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.