n Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - Message strategies in a corpus Dutch Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) campaign texts

Volume 40, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-9570



HIV-testing within a VCT protocol plays a pivotal role in the management of HIV / AIDS across the world. However, research indicates that the communication interventions which have to motivate high-risk groups to go for VCT meet with mixed levels of success - some have no effect on rates of HIV-testing, others only a small effect. Very little action-orientated research has been forthcoming to explain why these campaigns have such limited success and what can be done to improve their motivational efficacy. <br>In this article the focus falls on problems with the design of the messaging of VCT campaign texts as variable that determines their motivational efficacy In Section 2 a critical analysis is provided of two general approaches to health promotion that critically determine the goals, design, and finally the motivational efficacy of the messaging of such campaigns: the Social Marketing-Persuasion approach, the Critical Empowerment approach, and its off-spin, the Decision Aid approach. Section 3 presents a case study of how the designers of a corpus Dutch VCT campaign texts align themselves with these general approaches, how they interpret the goals of the messaging of their VCT campaign texts and what message strategies they employ in the attempt to motivate high-risk individuals to go for VCT. Section 4 outlines a number of areas for urgent action-orientated research.

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