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Creating environments that support peer education: experiences from HIV/AIDS‐prevention in South Africa

Catherine Campbell (Professor of Social Psychology, London School of Economics, London, UK and Fellow of HIVAN, University of KwaZulu‐Natal, South Africa. E‐mail: c.campbell@lse.ac.uk)

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Article publication date: 1 August 2004

Abstract

It is generally agreed that social environments influence the success of health education but there is less agreement about what constitutes a health‐enabling community context. Focuses on the processes underlying successful peer education. Outlines a case study conducted by the author of a schools‐based peer education and condom distribution programme for HIV prevention in a school setting. Identifies a number of obstacles to the development of new peer norms, youth empowerment and critical thinking that are essential preconditions for programmes success. Notes that the research concluded that one important reason for the failure of HIV‐prevention programmes lies in the over‐optimism of those who believe that peer education programmes can change behviour in marginalized communities in the absence of appropriate partnerships. Programme success is unlikely without parallel efforts to create supportive social environments, through building alliances between peer educators and more influential groups.

Keywords

Citation

Campbell, C. (2004), "Creating environments that support peer education: experiences from HIV/AIDS‐prevention in South Africa", Health Education, Vol. 104 No. 4, pp. 197-200. https://doi.org/10.1108/09654280410546682

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited