Paradigm Shifts in Primary HIV & AIDS Prevention: Why and How Interpersonal Communication Matters

Dorien Baelden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)


Over the years, communication strategies in the field of HIV and AIDS prevention have shifted their focus from individual behaviour change, to social change, to a convergence of the two approaches. In addition, much of the current academic discourse is now focused on the importance of stimulating interpersonal communication. However, the processes through which interpersonal communication operates have been surprisingly underappreciated in the theoretical work on primary HIV and AIDS prevention. Therefore, this paper aims at discussing why and how interpersonal communication matters. Firstly, consideration is given to the notion that campaign effects are mediated through interpersonal communication networks. Secondly, attention is given to the mechanisms of interpersonal communication. Based on perspectives derived from symbolic interactionism and cultural studies, this paper explores how interpersonal communication can assist in achieving social change. By doing so, this paper aims at contributing to the theoretical debates on interpersonal communication for primary HIV and AIDS prevention.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHealth and Development Communication Conference. Nairobi, Kenya, 27-29 June.
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2011
EventUnknown -
Duration: 27 Jun 2011 → …


Period27/06/11 → …


  • Interpersonal communication
  • HIV and AIDS prevention
  • Theoretical debates


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