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Potential use of mass media to reach urban intravenous drug users with AIDS prevention messages


To access the potential of using the mass media to reach urban intravenous drug users (IVDUs) with AIDS prevention messages,

we: 1) questioned 353 participants in a Baltimore IVDU cohort study on their media use and sources of AIDS information, 2) analyzed data on Baltimore AIDS public service announcement (PSA) airings during a 3-month period, and 3) discussed with media executives their willingness to air a variety of potential AIDS messages. Forty-seven percent of all respondents reported that they learned the most about AIDS from television. Participants watched television a median of 28 hours/week; 52% of IVDUs listened to ratio > or = 12 hours/week. Eight hundred eleven AIDS television PSAs were aired; 37% of PSAs were placed on news programs; 53% of respondents watched news programs. Acceptability of hypothetical prevention messages (e.g., on sexual abstinence, condom use, or safer drug use practices) varied with media reach (national vs local) and type (television vs radio). We conclude that media could reach IVDUs with AIDS prevention messages. Television could be used to direct IVDUs to local prevention programs and provide safe/safer sex messages. Explicit and detailed AIDS prevention messages would be acceptable to some local radio stations.

Jason J, Solomon L, Celentano DD, Vlahov D

Int J Addict 1993 Jul;28(9):837-51

PMID: 8359944