Resource Logo

Towards a new model for public awareness campaigns: the role of fiction in supporting identification and social interaction.


Int Conf AIDS. 1996 Jul 7-12;11(1):196 (abstract no. Mo.D.1832). Unique

Objectives: To evaluate whether a general public campaign, based on short film fictions and presenting a diversity of every-day situations and life stories rather than a directive message, triggers personal involvement and discussion on sexuality and AIDS which, as research in social sciences has shown, favours the adoption of prevention behaviour and contribute to the modification of social norms. Methods: The campaign "3,000 scripts against a virus", broadcast in June 1994 on all six French national TV channels, was evaluated through both qualitative and quantitative approaches. A contrasted sample of 60 volunteers aged from 15 to 49, were interviewed through semi-directive interviews and small discussion groups with projection exercises. A telephone survey was conducted on a representative sample of 1,000 persons who had seen at least three films, that is 30% of the general population. Results: The formal characteristics of the campaign induced particular interest, while its content generated emotion which led to a strong personal involvement (67.9% among the men emotionally moved by the campaign vs. 41.5% among those who declared not identifying with protagonists of these films, p is less than 0.001; 73.3% vs. 57.1% among women, p is less than 0.001). The films generated many discussions between the persons interviewed and their family and friends. Personal and social experience characteristics, and in particular the ability to talk about sexuality, seem to be determinant for explaining the observed reactions (67.0% among the men who spoke about sexuality during childhood also spoke about the films vs. 57.6% among those who did not, p is less than 0.05; 77.4% among women vs. 69.4%, p is less than 0.05). In contrast, the impact of the campaign did not differ according to the age of respondents or their sexual activity (multipartners did not differ from the others). Conclusions: Our results show that, mainly because of the absence of a directive message and due to the fictional nature of content, this type of public awareness campaign favours personal involvement as well as discussions on sexuality and AIDS and that it may be of interest to define communication tools for AIDS prevention that would take into account people's attitudes toward sexuality and their ability to talk about it.

*Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome *Communication *Health Education/ORGANIZATION & ADMIN *HIV Infections


Information in this article was accurate in January 30, 1997. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.