Dr. Barrot Lambdin, Pangaea's Director of Implementation Science, was lead author of "Local Residents Trained As 'Influence Agents' Most Effective In Persuading African Couples On HIV Counseling And Testing," published in Health Affairs in August of 2011.
ABSTRACT: Couples in sub-Saharan Africa are the largest group in the world at risk for HIV infection. Couples counseling and testing programs have been shown to reduce HIV transmission, but such programs remain rare in Africa. Before couples counseling and testing can become the norm, it is essential to increase demand for the services. We evaluated the effectiveness of several promotional strategies during a two-year program in Kitwe and Ndola, Zambia. The program attracted more than 7,600 couples through the use of radio broadcasts, billboards, and other strategies. The most effective recruiting technique was the use of local residents trained as "influence agents" to reach out to friends, neighbors, and others in their sphere of influence.
Barrot Hopkins Lambdin, William Kanweka, Mubiana Inambao, Lawrence Mwananyanda, Heena Dinesh Shah, Sabriya Linton, Frank Wong, Nicole Luisi, Amanda Tichacek, James Kalowa, Elwyn Chomba, and Susan Allen
Local Residents Trained As 'Influence Agents' Most Effective In Persuading African Couples On HIV Counseling And Testing
Health Affairs, 30, no.8 (2011):1488-1497
Full text of the article available here (subscription required): http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/30/8/1488.full.html