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Effectiveness of Mass Media Interventions for HIV Prevention, 1986–2013: A Meta-analysis

LaCroix, Jessica M. MS*,†; Snyder, Leslie B. PhD; Huedo-Medina, Tania B. PhD†,§; Johnson, Blair T. PhD*,†

JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: August 15th, 2014 - Volume 66 - Issue - p S329–S340
doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000000230
Supplement Article

Objectives: This meta-analysis was conducted to synthesize evaluations of mass media–delivered HIV prevention interventions, assess the effectiveness of interventions in improving condom use and HIV-related knowledge, and identify moderators of effectiveness.

Study Selection: We systematically searched electronic databases, relevant Web sites, related journals, and reference lists of previous reviews and included studies. Studies that quantitatively evaluated the effectiveness of mass media–delivered HIV prevention using pre-/post-campaign assessments, targeted the general population, reported outcomes of interest, and were available as of September 30, 2013 were eligible for inclusion.

Data Extraction and Synthesis: Raters coded report, intervention, and sample characteristics. The standardized mean difference, d, comparing pretest and posttest assessments was calculated for each study sample. Effect sizes were analyzed incorporating random-effects assumptions.

Results: Of the 433 obtained and screened reports, 54 reports containing evaluations of 72 interventions using 93 samples (N = 142,196) met the selection criteria and were included. Campaigns were associated with increases in condom use [d + = 0.25, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.18 to 0.21], transmission knowledge (d + = 0.30, 95% CI = 0.18 to 0.41), and prevention knowledge (d + = 0.39, 95% CI = 0.25 to 0.52). Increases in condom use were larger for longer campaigns and in nations that scored lower on the human development index. Increases in transmission knowledge were larger to the extent that respondents reported greater campaign exposure, for more recent campaigns, and for nations that scored lower on the human development index.

Conclusions: Mass media interventions may be useful in reducing global HIV/AIDS disparities because of their reach and effectiveness.

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*Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT;

Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT;

Department of Communication, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT and Center for Health Communication and Marketing, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT;

§Department of Allied Health Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT.

Correspondence to: Blair T. Johnson, PhD, Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention, University of Connecticut, 2006 Hillside Road, Unit 1248, Storrs, CT 06269-1248 (e-mail:

Supported by the National Institute of Mental Health to B.T.J. (R01-MH58563) and J.M.L (T32-MH074387) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to L.B.S. (P01-CD00237).

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

J.M.L. performed the literature search, coded studies, calculated effect sizes, contributed to study design, and led the analysis and writing. L.B.S. contributed to study design, supervision, analysis, and writing. T.B.H.-M. contributed to the analysis and writing. B.T.J. proposed the study, contributed to study design, supervision, analysis, and writing. J.M.L. had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

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© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins