Strategies for increasing individual and community knowledge on specific health issues have been framed asinformation, education and communication (IEC). Over the years, it has become clear that providing information is not sufficient to change individuals’ behaviours or social contexts. Many people know exactly how to prevent HIV, yet continue to engage in unsafe behaviours.
Recent research has examined what issues must be added to information strategies to create behaviour change. This new approach is called Behaviour Change Communication (BCC). It represents all of the ways in which we engage people in assessing their risks and strengthening their abilities to avoid HIV infection and transmission. It incorporates skills, social norms and advocacy elements so that knowledge is partnered with the ability to act.
Behaviour Change Interventions and Communications (BCIC) is a broad collection of strategies aimed at promoting positive changes in health behaviour. BCIC can motivate behaviour change that results in lowered rates of HIV infection and the lessened impact of HIV and AIDS. In the context of HIV, these are all of the ways in which we systematically attempt to introduce, motivate and enable people to adopt the practices which protect them from HIV infection.
Behaviour change is an important component of health education. It addresses the issue of why people continue to be affected and infected by HIV/AIDS/STIs, even when they know the facts.