The role of informatics in the development of social networks and their impact on society

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This work was supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of Family
Health International’s Implementing AIDS Prevention and Care (IMPACT) Project (Cooperative Agreement
HRN-A-00-97-00017-00) and does not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or FHI.
FHI implements the USAID IMPACT Project in partnership with the Institute of Tropical Medicine Management
Sciences for Health Population Services International Program for Appropriate Technology in Health and the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

© September 2002
Family Health International
Institute for HIV/AIDS
2101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 700
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Behavior change communication (BCC) is an interactive process with communities (as integrated with an overall program) to develop tailored messages and approaches using a variety of communication channels to develop positive behaviors; promote and sustain individual, community and societal behavior change; and maintain appropriate behaviors.
In the context of the AIDS epidemic, BCC is an essential part of a comprehensive program that includes both services (medical, social, psychological and spiritual) and commodities (e.g., condoms, needles and syringes). Before individuals and communities can reduce their level of risk or change their behaviors, they must first understand basic facts about HIV and AIDS, adopt key attitudes, learn a set of skills and be given access to appropriate products and services. They must also perceive their environment as supporting behavior change and the maintenance of safe behaviors, as well as supportive of seeking appropriate treatment for prevention, care and support.
In most parts of the world, HIV is primarily a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Development of a supportive environment requires national and community-wide discussion of relationships, sex and sexuality, risk, risk settings, risk behaviors and cultural practices that may increase the likelihood of HIV transmission.
A supportive environment is also one that deals, at the national and community levels, with stigma, fear and discrimination, as
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