Publication Date

Ongoing since April 2015

This evidence database is the centrepiece of a group of materials (See related summary below) from the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs on strategically designed communication around HIV and AIDS, referred to as social and behavior change communication (SBCC) or health communication. This ongoing compendium of evidence-to-date is designed to demonstrate the impact of health communication on HIV-related outcomes.

The database is organised as a chart that lists articles of evidence in alphabetical order by author (including links to the documents) and gives ;a citation for each, a summary, an intervention description, area of HIV communication addressed, a country location, the communication intervention, and the study design.

Going "beyond the delivery of a simple message or slogan to encompass a social process", the objectives of SBCC include reducing barriers to action and making the long-term benefits of a behaviour salient in the short term. Tools include: community-level activities, interpersonal communication, quality counseling, information and communication technologies, new media and mass media. Intervention programmes often "use multiple coordinated communication elements to reach people with consistent high-quality messages through a variety of channels."


There is a need "to consider all levels of influence and related factors/determinants from the individual to structural while also relying on existing theories and comprehensive models" as guides (the image above - figure 1 - illustrates "influences on behavior change at each level of the socio-ecological framework..."). Both demand side (creating health-seeking behaviour) and supply side (improving delivery, such as in-service counselling) are served, as described here, by communication that motivates people to: test, use condoms, promote treatment access, reduce stigma, etc. Complementary roles are played by health communication and biomedical prevention and care programmes.

This evidence database is designed to demonstrate "the impact of health communication on HIV-related outcomes including:

  1. HIV Testing and Counseling (HTC)
  2. Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC)
  3. Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT)
  4. Treatment Continuum
  5. Condom Use
  6. Other Prevention"


The evidence comes from a rapid review of evidence that underpinned the associated factsheets and infographics. Inclusion criteria are: 

  • "Study was conducted in a low or middle income country (LMIC)
  • Described a communication intervention or program; or was a synthesis or meta-analyses of HIV communication programs
  • Reported on behavior change outcomes or intention for behavior change related to HIV outcomes"


Exclusion criteria are:

  • "Were not in English
  • Were not from a LMIC
  • Did not report on a behavior change in at least one core HIV outcome area
  • Did not focus on health communication aspects of an intervention"

Email from Kim Martin to The Communication Initiative on April 15 2015. Image credit: "Figure 1: Kaufman, M. R., Cornish, F., Zimmerman, R. S., & Johnson, B. T. (2014). Health behavior change models for HIV prevention and AIDS care: practical recommendations for a multi-level approach. JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 66, S250-S258."