We tested the reliability of a new perceived effectiveness scale for HIV testing media messages and examined whether perceived effectiveness of theTake Charge. Take the Test campaign is predictive of downstream outcomes. We used data from an online survey of young, single, African American women (N = 428), collected from October 2007 to March 2008. Participants were recruited from online web panels maintained by Knowledge Networks and Survey Sampling International. The survey included a baseline and two longitudinal follow-ups at 2 and 6 weeks post-baseline. African American women aged 18 to 24 years, with annual incomes of less than $20,000, children at home, 3 or more sexual partners, and who only occasionally use condoms were more receptive to the materials. Perceived ad effectiveness significantly predicted 6- and 12-month HIV testing intentions at wave 3 of the survey. Perceived ad effectiveness is an important upstream indicator of ad success beyond impact that may occur from exposure alone. Measures of perceived ad effectiveness should be used to quantitatively pretest future HIV/AIDS-focused social marketing campaign messages. This study is also informative for media planning and other similar future interventions in terms of which types of messages and ads may be effective in promoting HIV/AIDS testing intentions and eventual behaviors.
Exploring African American women's perceptions of a social marketing campaign to promote HIV testing