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Type Thesis or Dissertation - PhD
Title The perceptions of rural Samburu women in Kenya with regard to HIV/AIDS: towards developing a communication strategy
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Page numbers 0-0
The objective of this research is to explore the perceptions of rural Samburu women in Kenya with regard to HIV/AIDS in terms of their knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and opinions; to examine several HIV/AIDS awareness channels that have been used to communicate HIV/AIDS messages to the Samburu women to determine how effective they have been in effecting behaviour change.This study is an example of how a communication audit can be carried out on a certain sub-group of a community in order to suggest a tailor-made communication strategy in an effort to stop the spread of HIV among the Samburu women. This study is also a confirmation that the prevention strategies that have been in use to communicate to Samburu women have been inadequate and need to be revised to address the knowledge gaps that exist. The study is located within a relatively new field of health communication where health messages are evaluated to determine whether target audiences are receiving these messages and changing their behaviour in order to live healthier lives. This area of study is also supported by behaviour change models such as the Health Belief Model (HBM), the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), Diffusion of Innovations Theory, Cultural Models, and Strategic Communication. A qualitative study was undertaken in 2008 by way of ten focus group discussions with Samburu women and eleven in-depth interviews with professionals who ran HIV/AIDS programmes in the Samburu district. The focus groups were constituted by means of convenience sampling whereas the snowball strategy was utilised for the selection of participants for in-depth interviews. The questioning route for the focus group discussions for the Samburu women was guided by five themes namely: knowledge levels of the women; cultural aspects that made the women vulnerable to HIV/AIDS; beliefs about HIV/AIDS; attitudes towards HIV/AIDS; and the different channels of communication used to convey HIV/AIDS messages. The interview schedule for the professionals consisted of open-ended questions and face-to-face interviews were carried out using this schedule.

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