Article | Journal of Macromarketing

Putting Patients First: Social Marketing Strategies for Treating HIV in Developing Nations

by Zoe Chance and Rohit Deshpandé


It is more than mere coincidence that the highest rates of HIV occur in the world's poorest countries. Of the over 40 million people currently living with HIV, 95 percent are in the developing world. The first part of this paper explores the economics of HIV and treatment from a social marketing perspective. The second part of the paper uses three specific case histories of successful social marketing organizations in Africa, Asia, and South America to inductively generate a consumer (patient)-centric marketing model. The focal organizations are unique in that they all identify patient needs first, then work backwards to develop economically viable solutions. These solutions are not without flaws, and the future of these programs remains uncertain, but we hope that illuminating these particular cases within the consumer-centric marketing paradigm will shed light on ways in which other organizations may be able to serve the poor profitably.

Keywords: Health Disorders; Developing Countries and Economies; Poverty; Health Care and Treatment; Social Marketing; Perspective; Customer Focus and Relationships; Profit; Africa; Asia; South America;


Chance, Zoe, and Rohit Deshpandé. "Putting Patients First: Social Marketing Strategies for Treating HIV in Developing Nations." Special Issue on Metric and Interpretive Explorations of Macromarketing. Journal of Macromarketing 29, no. 3 (September 2009).