Can a Short Film Impact HIV-Related Risk and Stigma Perceptions? Results from an Experiment in Abuja, Nigeria
HIV/AIDS-related stigma is believed to result in negative social consequences for people with the disease and to be a deterrent to HIV serostatus testing. The ability of communicators to change people's stigma perceptions and subsequently impact decisions to test, however, is not well understood. Based on the entertainment?education approach, this article presents the results of a field experiment conducted in Abuja, Nigeria, testing a mediated intervention designed to reduce HIV-related stigma and risk perceptions. The results indicate that the intervention was effective relative to a control in impacting perceptions of the severity of HIV and some stigma-related attitudes, particularly for male participants; and that for this sample, risk and stigma perceptions significantly impact intentions to test for HIV. It also showed that severity perceptions mediated the relationship between viewing the film and testing intent.