In the first two subprojects, the question is raised about the beliefs and values underlying the intended behaviour (i.e., having safe sex, voluntary HIV/AIDS CTR). These questions are addressed employing focus group interviews and conducting questionnaires among the target groups. Conducting such surveys among target groups with different culturalbackgrounds is difficult but necessary; several precautions will be taken (Van de Vijver & Leung, 1997).
The question about which and how often certain document characteristics (fear appeals, testimonials, arguments in favour of HIV/AIDS CTR, visuals) are used in current (South African) health messages will be tackled using corpus-analytical research. That is, a large collection of health messages is compiled and these messages will be analysed on these1 aspects.
The question about what the effects are of various document characteristics
(fear appeals, testimonials, etc.) for the various target groups is addressed using experiments. Again, conducting experiments in which (cultural or demographic) backgrounds, is not without risks. The precautions suggested by Hoeken and Korzilius (2001) will be taken.
For the development of a text evaluation instrument and reader- focused techniques aimed at HIV/AIDS public information documents in South Africa, advantage can be taken from the results of a pilot study performed in Amsterdam South-East in June 2002. In this study a group of researchers and students from Nijmegen University collaborated with the AFAPAC foundation, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to AIDS prevention and health promotion among sub-Saharan Africans living in The Netherlands.
In this study (cf. Hagen, Verwer & Jansen 2002) two HIV/AIDS documents have been analysed using a preliminary version of a text evaluation instrument, and the same documents have subsequently been put to a reader- focused test with representatives from the target group. A report of this study is to be expected in July 2003. The experiences will be taken into account in specifying the methods to be used in subproject 5.