Helping Each Other Act Responsibly Together (HEART)

Category 3

The Helping Each Other Act Responsibly Together (HEART) Campaign promotes healthy sexual behaviors among young people, ages 15-19, in both urban and rural settings. Using messages that convey energy and vibrancy that reflect youth culture, the campaign reinforces those sexual behaviors that are safe while aiming to change the unsafe ones. Television reaches urban youth and radio reaches both rural and urban youth; popular music reaches them all. The behavior change strategy is to encourage youth either to abstain from sexual intercourse or to use a condom every time they have sex with every partner in order to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS.

Goal of the Practice
  • The overall campaign goal is to provide a social context in which prevailing social norms are discussed, questioned and reassessed. By creating an atmosphere conducive to changes in social norms as well as in individual sexual behaviour the campaign will contribute to the nation-wide effort to reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS and other STIs.
Core Components
  • The purpose of this report is to evaluate the impact of the campaign on young people in Zambia. To evaluate the campaign, a quasi-experimental, separate sample pre and post-test design was used. The pre-test survey was conducted from July to November 1999 and the post-test was fielded in August 2000.
Noteworthy Results
  • Viewers are 46 percent more likely to be practicing primary or secondary abstinence
  • Viewers are 87 percent more likely to use condoms
  • Viewers are 67 percent more likely to have used a condom at last sex
Lessons Learned
  • Television is an effective way to reach young people. The HEART Campaign reached over fifty percent of the intended audience. 71 percent of urban and 37 percent of rural youth saw one or more of the health communication spots.
  • Comprehension of the messages was good. Between 60 and 90 percent of viewers spontaneously identified the correct message with any given advert.
  • Approximately 74 percent of male viewers and 68 percent of female viewers said that the health communication spots prompted them to talk with others about the advert, decide to abstain from sex until more mature, or use a condom.
  • Higher rates of exposure to HEART programming correlated to higher rates of positive behavior change (the "dose effect").
Focus Areas
Implemented By
Health Communication Partnership, Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs (JHU-CCP)
Participating Organization
  • YouthAIDS/Population Services International (PSI)
  • Zambia Integrated Health Program (ZIHP)
Target Population
Adolescents (ages 13-17)
> 50000
Implementation Years
01/1999 - 12/2008