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The YEAH Campaign
Uganda has prioritized prevention of HIV transmission since 1986 through intensified HIV/AIDS awareness and sensitization campaigns and behaviour change communication. HIV communication, under the ABC model, has been a multisectoral responsibility with actors from various backgrounds participating to communicate to identified groups within their contexts.
This enhanced wider coverage and is documented to have contributed to the steady decline in HIV prevalence in 1990s. As the country addresses stagnating prevalence rates since 2000 however, reviews have reflected that the concerted communication efforts have also generated challenges of fragmentation due to limited coordination of actors which leads to duplication, uneven coverage, message inconsistency and sometimes conflicting messages. This is likely to impact on sustained behavioural outcomes for the target audiences.
Following the mid-term review of the National Strategic Framework for HIV/AIDS (NSF) 2000/06, Uganda AIDS Commission coordinated partner dialogue to develop strategies for strategic HIV communication especially targeting young people. The dialogue resulted in the joint conceptualization in 2003 of a national, multi-sector multi-media campaign that was later to be known as the Young Empowered and Healthy (YEAH) campaign.
The development of the YEAH campaign was also informed by the young people vulnerability analysis exercise spearheaded by the UNICEF country office. YEAH also bases on the Conceptual Framework for communicating to young people about HIV/AIDS/STIs and early pregnancy developed through stakeholder consultations.
YEAH is a partnership between stakeholders, young people and the media and centres around a radio serial drama Rock Point 256 that is broadcast on 10 radios in 4 languages. YEAH targets universal coverage with common voices on HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and growing up generally. It targets enhanced individual and social change.