In 2005, 25 years after AIDS was first recognised, G8 governments, the African Union and the UN World Summit called for ‘as close as possible to’ universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010.
Effective HIV and AIDS communication is central to the achievement of universal access. This report reviews lessons learned from the response so far and suggests that there is an urgent need to strengthen communication approaches that look beyond narrow, short-term interventions focused on individual behaviours.
Communication issues include: the effective coordination of the response; sustained advocacy to tackle the underlying drivers of the epidemic; and the specific communication needs of prevention, treatment and care initiatives that require grassroots ownership and social mobilisation.
The challenge is at once social, political and technical. But without this paradigm shift in development and communication practice, universal access will remain elusive.