The survey was conducted by the Johns Hopkins University Centre for
Communication Programmes, Health Development Africa representing Khomanani, the
Centre for AIDS Development, Research and Evaluation - a South African NGO
specialised on HIV/AIDS research - and Soul City Institute.
The results of the survey were presented to the media on Monday, 6 November
2006, at Rosebank Hotel in Johannesburg by representatives of the abovementioned
organisations, namely Dr Lawrence Kincaid and Patrick Coleman of Johns Hopkins
Health and Education in South Africa (JHHESA), Saul Johnson (Khomanani), Dr
Warren Parker (CADRE) and Dr Sue Goldstein of Soul City Institute for Health and
The survey - the first of its kind in the world - included more than 8000
respondents nationwide between the age of 15 and 65 years. It started in
February and was funded jointly by the South African and US Governments through
USAID. The following are its key findings:
- Condom use at last sex has remarkably increased from 34% to 60% - an
increase of 26% (including 80% of students who are now using condoms). Note
that only a mere 8% used condoms back in 1994.
- Considerable increase in voluntary counselling and testing (VCT), general
Aids knowledge and knowledge of anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy.
- A total of 90% now recognise the Department of Health's Khomanani logo.
- TV and radio programmes create an environment conducive to community
discussion of AIDS, local leadership and support for people living with
HIV/AIDS (reduction of stigma, for instance).
- Choice TV, a Khomanani TV series, was watched by two million people, and
has increased ample discussions on the subject of AIDS and increased
voluntary testing, especially among the youth.
- SABC 1 award-winning AIDS educational series Tsha-Tsha was seen by over 14
million viewers, and has had a significant impact on condom use and HIV
testing, and has likewise conscientised people on how to deal with the HIV
- Soul City and Soul Buddyz, other educational TV programmes, have also
educated many people and helped them to change their sexual behaviour to
minimise the risk of contracting the incurable disease.
This is the first time a national study has looked in detail at the
effects of national AIDS communication interventions, and the most exciting
finding is that we are now able to show the separate and combined effects of all
the interventions, Dr Kincaid, associate scientist at the US-based Johns
Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told the media.
CADRE director Dr Parker said: The survey shows that communication
programmes have made significant impacts on key areas such as increasing condom
use and voluntary testing, but we need to intensify efforts to reduce new HIV
However, many observers firmly believe that these efforts have been seriously
compromised by political confusion engendered by politicians such as President
Thabo Mbeki's lingering doubts over what really causes HIV/AIDS and the
ever-controversial Minister of Health Manto Tshabalala Msimang's beetroot
and garlic policies.
Sometimes the lack of political support and leadership confusion result in
these efforts being hindered, Dr Goldstein said. The whole nation
should have one voice and work together as partners to pull out every stop to
fight this epidemic, she added.
While Soul City Institute has spent R100 million in programmes designed to fight
HIV/AIDS this year, the Government forked out R98.6 million on its all Khomanani
campaign programmes in the past financial year. The South African branch of
Johns Hopkins University Health and Education Centre spends at least R40 million
every year on AIDS programmes.
Apart from Joburg, the research team will also be presenting its findings in
Durban and Cape Town to over 450 policymakers, stakeholders and health
We want to maximise the use of this study, which is the first of its kind
in the world, Coleman, MD of JHHESA, said.
These findings provide the basis for expanding and refining programmes to
address gaps and to help co-ordinate the efforts of all organisations working in
For more information, go to www.journaids.org