Digital strategies for primary HIV and AIDS prevention. A multidisciplinary research investigating the influence of online dialogue on communication patterns of high-risk groups in South-Africa, Namibia and Zambia.

Project Details


This research seeks to examine the role new technologies can play in the fight against HIV & AIDS. The field of primary HIV and AIDS prevention has witnessed several paradigm shifts since the mid-eighties up till now, going from a focus on individual behaviour change, to a focus on social change, to a convergence of both approaches. A significant part of the current academic discourse is focused on the importance of interpersonal communication, as this process is believed to enable the creation of social learning environments. It is however not easy to facilitate dialogue on sensitive issues related to HIV and AIDS. In addition, more and more studies observe an increasing level of AIDS fatigue when it comes to primary HIV & AIDS prevention. Some authors believe that due to their unique characteristics, such as anonymity and interactivity, ICT and the internet in particular are possibly more appropriate than traditional media to address these issues. Therefore, the questions that will be addressed in this project are the following: (1) are new technologies able to stimulate dialogue on HIV & AIDS related issues, (2) are new technologies able to fight campaign fatigue, and (3) can an online discussion forum be effective as an educational tool concerning HIV and AIDS related issues in terms of stimulating critical and reflective thinking skills? In attempting to answer these questions, a case study will be carried out at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.
Effective start/end date1/10/0830/09/12


  • Information Technologies
  • Communication Policy
  • Science Communication
  • New Media
  • Cultural theory and policy
  • Research On Media Effects
  • Ethnicity
  • Privacy

Flemish discipline codes in use since 2023

  • Media and communications


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