Knowing one’s serostatus is critical in the HIV prevention, care and treatment continuum. This study examines the impact of communication programs on HIV testing in South Africa. Data came from 2204 young men and women aged 16-24 who reported to be sexually active in a population based survey. Structural equation modeling was used to test the directions and causal pathways between communication program exposure, HIV testing discussion, and having a test in the last 12 months. Bivariate and multivariate probit regressions provided evidence of exogeneity of communication exposure and the two HIV-related outcomes. One in three sampled individuals had been tested in the last 12 months. Communication program exposure only had an indirect effect on getting tested by encouraging young people to talk about testing. The study suggests that communication programs may create an environment that supports open HIV-related discussions and may have a long-term impact on behavior change.
HIV Testing Among Young People Aged 16-24 in South Africa: Impact of Mass Media Communication Programs.