Developing Marketing and Communications Strategies to Promote Demand and Uptake

Taking steps to bring people to your programs—and vice versa

value chain graphic

In addition to the resources below, visit the PrEP Communications Accelerator, a free, interactive digital resource supports health practitioners in developing marketing and communications campaigns which create demand for PrEP in sub-Saharan African countries. And feel free to contact us!

For PrEP to have sustainable health impact, relevant attitudes, knowledge, social norms and beliefs need to be shaped at individual, community and policy level. People must understand the benefits of PrEP and believe these outweigh any possible negatives. They must have relevant practical and emotional reasons to use PrEP products consistently and correctly.

An evidence-based marketing and communications plan lays out the activities you’ll undertake to ensure that PrEP is understood and used in ways that have an impact on people’s health and health seeking behaviors. Experience has shown that these plans work when they include many of the following: strategies for influencing social and behavior change in ways that support PrEP uptake and use, plans for creating demand among priority populations, training for providers, counselors, peer educators on how to talk about and provide PrEP and more.

Below you will find steps to create a marketing and communications plan to promote demand for and uptake of PrEP; additional resources are linked at the bottom of the page:

Conduct a situation analysis of key audiences
  • Systematically review information about PrEP that will help you define and understand the problems and opportunities in introducing PrEP in your context. This might include an understanding of attitudes, knowledge, social norms and beliefs at individual, community and policy level.
  • Identify any gaps in knowledge and decide how you will address those gaps.
  • Define your target audiences.

Oral PrEP Specific Resources:

Dapivirine Ring Specific Resources:

Develop a strategic plan for marketing and communications
  • Identify key strategic objectives and goals.
  • Define resource requirements (e.g., more personnel or training needs) and activities you will need to achieve strategic objectives.
  • Identify key messages you want your target audiences to hear, and what activities and communications channels are relevant for PrEP uptake and adherence.
  • Identify people that influence PrEP users for PrEP uptake and adherence and plan how to positively impact their views about the value of PrEP.
  • Highlight research gaps and how to address them.
  • Create a workplan.


Oral PrEP Specific Resources:

Dapivirine Ring Specific Resources

Develop and test marketing and communications materials
  • Create, pre-test and pilot communications materials and methods for your target audiences; make changes to materials after testing and piloting and then disseminate the updated versions.
  • Ensure communications channels fit with the needs of the target audiences.
  • Ensure compliance with government regulations.
  • Investigate if you can leverage any existing materials to help reach your target audiences.
  • Ensure collaboration with others working in the PrEP arena as necessary.
  • Develop new standard operating procedures (SOPs) as required.

Engaging Parents, Partners and Other Key Influencers

Engaging Parents to Create an Enabling Environment for Young People’s PrEP Use: Supplementary content for family strengthening programmes that support youth sexual and reproductive health was designed for use by HIV programs that wish to introduce parents to PrEP as part of an effort to support young people’s PrEP use, with an emphasis on PrEP use among adolescent girls and young women. The module can introduce oral PrEP alone or with other prevention technologies, such as the PrEP ring. This module is a sister document to the HIV Prevention Ambassador Training Package and in some cases adapts content from that package, which is designed for youth, to make it relevant to the parents of young people.

AGYW PrEP Demand Generation Package

These materials are designed to help Ministries of Health, program managers, trainers, and advocates to create demand for PrEP among AGYW by using an adapted human-centered design, or “HCD-lite” approach for materials development. Click here for more.

Oral PrEP Specific Resources

Dapirivine Ring Specific Resources (coming soon!)

Implement and monitor your strategy
  • Ensure your demand creation materials and messages are aligned with all other communications and advocacy information.
  • Ensure local media is informed of PrEP in a timely manner so that they are knowledgeable and can help in demand creation and advocacy activities.
  • Monitor the reaction to demand creation materials and activities and make changes as necessary.
  • Remember to refresh the materials in order to keep PrEP current and relevant to the target audiences.
Build an evaluation system
  • Define objectives, with measurable outcomes for the demand creation work.
  • Define evaluation methods and measures.
  • Apply evaluation outcomes to subsequent PrEP demand creation materials.
Further resources


Dapivirine Ring Specific Resources

  • PROMISE Digital Health Landscaping Report — To support planning for the introduction of the monthly dapivirine ring in sub-Saharan Africa, a landscape analysis was done to provide an overview of existing virtual channels that can be used to increase awareness and access to the ring. This analysis identified countries where virtual channels are best placed for demand creation and distribution of the vaginal ring and related products for the specified audience(s). Click here for an overview of the process and reasoning behind the development of this report.

Help Desk

Need answers? The PrEPWatch Help Desk provides support for all your questions related to PrEP implementation and planning.

Last updated June 16, 2022.