Academic journal article International Public Health Journal

Dance4life: Evaluating a Global HIV and AIDS Prevention Program for Young People Using the Pre-Im Framework for Process Evaluation

Academic journal article International Public Health Journal

Dance4life: Evaluating a Global HIV and AIDS Prevention Program for Young People Using the Pre-Im Framework for Process Evaluation

Article excerpt

Introduction

Young people aged 15 to 24 account for almost half of new HIV infections (1). Because of the high rates of HIV-infected adolescents, numerous education and school-based prevention programs have been set up worldwide. Dance4life is an international initiative that actively involves young people and wants to give them a powerful voice in pushing back the spread of HIV and the stigma and taboos that surround it. Young people (13-19 years old) are attracted and empowered through the use of experience marketing, dance, music, youth icons and their own language, encouraging them to learn more about HIV and AIDS and sexual and reproductive health and rights (2).

Dance4life uses a Entertainment-Education strategy, which can be defined as a way of informing the public about a social issue or concern, by incorporating an educational message into popular entertainment content in order to raise awareness, increase knowledge, create favorable attitudes, and ultimately motivate people to take socially responsible action in their own lives (3,4). At the start of this study (April 2009), dance4life was active in 19 different countries worldwide. Dance4life developed a four-step school program that aims to inspire, educate and empower, activate and celebrate, for which the organization devised a publicity campaign . The school program firstly exists of an interactive entertainment-educational experience at which a dance4life tour team of peer educators discuss with youngsters about sex and HIV in an open way, combined with music and dance (heart connection tour (hct)). Next, the youngsters are educated with a life skills program about their sexual and reproductive health and rights (skills4life (s4l)). They also learn valuable skills about negotiation, communication and decision making, which they can apply in their daily lives. In the third step, they are stimulated to take action by organizing their own activities that involve their friends, families and communities (act4life (a4l)). Finally, after having passed through these three essential components, every two years on the Saturday before World AIDS Day, the young people attend the dance4life event (d4l event) to celebrate their achievements. During the event there is a live satellite connection between all participating countries, so that the young people are united. The aim of the dance4life program is not only to learn young people important knowledge and skills on HIV and AIDS prevention, but also to inspire them to become actively involved in pushing back HIV and AIDS through their own actions. These actively involved young people are called agents of change (aoc), which at the time of this research were defined as 13 to 19 years old in school youngsters, who participated in at least two of the three essential components (hct, s4l, a4l) of the dance4life school program (2) (note: this definition has been changed later in 2009: since then, aoc have to participate in all three essential components). Aoc are supposed to be personally active in halting the spread of HIV and to make a positive impact in their communities.

The long-term goal of dance4life is to establish a worldwide social youth movement of one million agents of change by 2014 to push back HIV and AIDS. Melucci (5) defines a social movement as a type of collective behavior that challenges the ends, values and power structures of a given society. The dance4life social youth movement should remind the world leaders specifically about the Millennium Development Goal number 6 (MDG6), target 1: ?Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV and AIDS' (1). UNAIDS states that until HIV prevention programs incorporate elements focused on creating social change they will prove to be ineffective in the long run (1). To realize the aim of establishing a social youth movement, dance4life collaborates with a global network of 19 worldwide or national grassroot implementing partners , each active in a particular country. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.