Journal of Health Communication vol:19 issue:8 pages:922-938
This study assessed the relative advantages of gain- versus loss-framed messages for promoting HIV testing among a sample of urban and rural residents in northwest Ethiopia. The authors randomly assigned 394 participants to read gain-framed (n = 196) or loss-framed (n = 198) HIV testing message prepared in a form of brochure. Experience with HIV testing, concern about and information needs on HIV/AIDS, and urbanity versus rurality significantly moderated the effects of framing on intention to test for HIV. A gain-frame advantage was found among urbanites, participants with high experience with HIV testing, and those with high concern about and information needs on HIV/AIDS, suggesting a more likely construal of HIV testing as a prevention behavior among these individuals. In contrast, a loss-frame advantage was found among ruralites and participants with low concern about and information needs on HIV/AIDS, suggesting a more likely construal of HIV testing as a detection behavior among such individuals. Moreover, gain- and loss-framing led to similar outcomes among individuals with low levels of experience with HIV testing, with a slight advantage for the loss-framed message. All of the framing effects obtained were of small to medium size.