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How can i bring HIV/AIDS testing to my high school?
Feb 23, 2008

I am a dually enrolled high school LPN student. My colleagues and I had the idea of having an HIV/AIDS awareness week were our ultimate goal would be to properly educate students in HIV/AIDS and have the health department come in and provide free HIV/AIDS testing on campus. The health department is willing, i would like to know what kind of obstacles we might run into and what we can do to make our campaign effective?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I applaud your laudable efforts to bring HIV/AIDS awareness, science-based HIV prevention education, and HIV testing to your high school. My foundation has funded similar efforts on college campuses and found the experience to be profoundly rewarding. At the high school level be prepared for a potential backlash from some very vocal rightwing PTA members who fear that if their little Penelope or Billy Bob ever sees a condom or learns about what they call "hoochie coochie" that their little darlins will immediately become sex fiends and go directly to hell. Hopefully you live in an enlightened area (blue state that voted for Obama), rather than one of the square red states in the center of the country (still lamenting Fred Thompson's crash-and-burn campaign). I think your decision to involve the health department is an excellent one. I'd also suggest you try to get a local HIV/AIDS specialist physician involved as well as local ASOs (AIDS service organizations). One very effective tool for raising HIV/AIDS awareness would be to bring a portion of the AIDS Memorial Quilt to your school. (www.aidsquilt.org)

I wish you every success in your endeavor and hope other high-schoolers (and college kids too) will follow your lead!

Dr. Bob



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