Background: AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has extensively implemented outdoor advertising to promote HIV/STD testing, prevention, and services in Los Angeles County (LAC) for over a decade. In 2014, AHF hired an independent research firm to evaluate several marketing campaigns targeting different population segments at high risk for HIV and STDs.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional street-intercept interview survey from March through September 2014 in neighborhoods where AHF marketing campaigns had a strong presence. Participants had to be 18 years old or over and reside in LAC. The survey took about 10 minutes to complete and participants received a $10 incentive. The survey measured demographics, unaided and aided awareness of campaigns (which were combined for data analyses into total awareness), HIV/STD testing behavior, condom use, and sexual risk behaviors. A convenience sample of 719 respondents completed the survey. Bivariate analyses and logistic regressions were used to assess the relationship between campaign awareness and desired campaign outcomes, HIV/STD testing and condom use.
Results: Total awareness of four campaigns “No Protection – No Action”, “We’ve Got Your Back”, “Hook Up with Us”, and “96% Effective” was 28.7%, 27.0%, 11.8%, and 33.8%, respectively. Three of these campaigns were significantly associated with having tested for HIV or STDs in the last 6 months in bivariate analyses. Awareness of any AHF prevention campaign was significantly associated with HIV testing (p=0.003) and STD testing (p=0.018) in the past 6 months in bivariate analyses. No association was found between any of the campaigns and condom use. In logistic regressions, only awareness of the “We’ve Got Your Back” campaign was significantly associated with having tested for HIV in the past 6 months (OR: 1.76, 95% CI: 1.08 – 2.87).
Conclusions: These evaluation results suggests that sustained, targeted marketing campaigns can impact HIV and STD testing among at-risk populations.