Social marketing and health service promotion : a needs analysis for the antiretroviral rollout at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Morrison, Callen Cairn.
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RN/AIDS has had a particularly devastating effect on sub-Saharan nations, including South Africa. Thus, a national rollout of antiretroviral drugs - capable of mitigating the effects of the epidemic - has been vigorously demanded by the South African public. Eventually bowing to public pressure, the Government began to implement the rollout of the drugs at public health facilities in early 2004. The University of KwaZulu-Natal announced in 2004 that it too would provide access to antiretroviral drugs for all students who require them. Thus, there is an urgent need for the institution to develop promotional campaigns that not only promote the service but that also deal with the fall-out from the problematic national rollout, and that address the complicated nature of antiretroviral therapy. The focus of this dissertation is on a promotional needs analysis for the antiretroviral rollout at the University. Specifically, the primary research aimed to determine the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of the general student population on the topic of antiretrovirals, and by doing so, identify the needs of this audience that will have to be addressed by future promotional campaigns. The theoretical framework used to inform the research design and questions is that of social marketing; a relatively new approach to social change that uses principles of commercial marketing to achieve results among target audiences. The results of the research suggest that future promotional messages and campaigns directed at the general student population will need to focus on the following issues: clarifying the distinctions between different contexts of ARV use; increasing the awareness of the rollout at UKZN as a prerequisite to stimulating demand; addressing negative beliefs and misconceptions regarding ARVs; emphasising complementary practices to be used by individuals with RN/AIDS; addressing issues of stigma and discrimination and encouraging students to act as sources of support and information for other students. In the case of certain messages, segmentation - on the basis of race and campus - may result in a more effective dissemination of information to the target audiences.