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Of the use of an information center as part of the strategy of STDs/AIDS prevention programmes.
Talom JM; Kaptue L; Afane ZE; Kuate JR; Kembou E; SidAlerte Cameroon,
January 30, 1997
Int Conf AIDS. 1996 Jul 7-12;11(1):182 (abstract no. Mo.D.1743). Unique

Objectives: To review strategies of the STDs/AIDS prevention programme among rural and towns populations. Methods: SidAlerte Cameroon is an NGO working within the framework of the Programme against STDs/AIDS. In its information center specialists physicians, psychologists, nutritionists, jurists.) provide visitors with information on STDs/AIDS in French, English and local languages. After counselling infected people care management is ensured. - each visitor to the center has to fill in a form in which he writes down what service he needs: films, general information, documents. - The center has a "hot line" open to the public (from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., from Mondays to Fridays). Results: There was an important increase of visitors during 1995 (1370 compared to 605 in 1994). The main reason for it is that since mid 94 our video-tape recorder has been often requested by visitors to the center (1154 compared to 400 in 1994) who want to watch infected people or sick people before believing it. In addition, those who come to get oral information about STDs/AIDS are in an increasing number (889 compared to 321 in 1994) merely because they have the opportunity to speak with specialists on the premises, which is an improvement considering the usually cold and remote contact with media. Even if written information (leaflets, magazines.) is in increasing number (275 compared to 258 in 1994), people are less spontaneously attracted. This is due for people's weak interest for reading. By and large and considering the enormous need of people for information, the amount of those who phone through the "hot line" to get information is low even if it is higher (43 compared to 28) in 1994. This is because every phone call is costly in an economic situation of recession. Conclusions:- In a country where the majority is illiterate, where there is suspicion about STDs/AIDS and where the main communication factor is by way of speech, it is essential that audio-visual documentation and community based information are given priority in the IEC strategies.- A free phone line allowing people to get information on STDs/AIDS without paying would be an interesting initiative.

*Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/PREVENTION & CONTROL *Health Education *Sexually Transmitted Diseases/PREVENTION & CONTROL