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Modeling and reinforcement to combat HIV: the MARCH approach to behavior change.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
American journal of public health
Publication Date
Volume
91
Issue
10
Pages
1602–1607
Identifiers
PMID: 11574317
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Theory and research suggest that behavioral interventions to prevent HIV/AIDS may be most effective when they are personalized and affectively compelling, when they provide models of desired behaviors, and when they are linked to social and cultural narratives. Effective strategies must also take into account the opportunities and obstacles present in the local environment. The Modeling and Reinforcement to Combat HIV (MARCH) projects combine key aspects of individual behavior change with efforts to change social norms. There are 2 main components to the program: entertainment as a vehicle for education (longrunning serialized dramas on radio or television portray role models evolving toward the adoption of positive behaviors) and interpersonal reinforcement at the community level (support from friends, family members, and others can help people initiate behavior changes; support through changes in social norms is necessary for behavioral effects to be sustained over time). Both media and interpersonal intervention activities should be linked to existing resources in the community and, wherever possible, provide increased access to preventive services, supplies, and other supporting elements.

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