Slogans can help encourage teenagers to wait and have sex when they are married or even help to prevent the spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) as well as teenage pregnancy. There are several reasons that influence risk-taking or appropriate behavior by individuals especially in dating or casual relationships. What strategies are effective in changing or sustaining behavior? There has often been a slow response to behavior change despite behavior change communication (BCC) in our various countries.
I have been able to sample a few slogans from across different countries of the strategies that have been used to communicate behavior change in terms of sexual relationships.
In Jamaica, the HIV/STI slogan for communicating sexual behavior change goes like this: “Pinch, leave an inch and roll” and “big man noh dey ride widout condom”. Funny and catchy isn’t it? What about the “small” man? In Ghana, the all time slogan is “if it is not on, it is not in”. Pretty simple isn’t it? In Cambodia, which is one of the countries in Asia severely affected by HIV/AIDS and STI infection, it is simply known as “Act responsibly”. How can we know which “act” is ir/responsible? Confusing slogan I should say. In Uganda, which has an alarming HIV infection rate in Africa is simply dubbed “AB and C” (A-Abstain, B-Be faithful to your partner and C-condomise). Other slogans that caught my attention in different countries were: “Open your eyes before AIDS closes them”! That is a good one there! Another one read “Condoms are cheaper than AIDS”. Hmm I did not know that AIDS had a price tag or a for sale sign?(Anyway just kidding here). A condescending slogan reads “AIDS/STI- an equal opportunity disease. Wow indeed it doesn’t discriminate does it? NO. “AIDS brings pain, Girls please abstain”. This slogan seem to be pushing the blame on girls, what about the men? And finally my all time favourite slogan that I saw that caught my attention was … END the Dread…STOP the spread!
So on this note I also ask what is the popular slogan in your country? Bring them on so that we can SPREAD the word and create the conditions for a more open, tolerant and supportive society towards STIs and HIV.