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U.S. News

New York: Gay Men's Health Crisis Ads Target Brooklyn Black Women

August 7, 2006

In response to increased HIV infections among women of color in central Brooklyn, the Women's Institute of Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) has launched an awareness-raising campaign.

For four weeks, 25 GMHC ads depicting three women of color will be posted on subway entrances. The ads include the message "AIDS. Protect yourself. Protect each other. We can help," and GMHC's contact information. Campaign cards will be disseminated through community organizations, businesses and beauty parlors working with GMHC.

"The true strength of the campaign is that it gives a visible symbol to a population that we need to do more outreach in," said Dr. Marjorie Hill, GMHC's interim executive director. A decade ago, women were about 7 percent of new HIV cases, she said; now they comprise 31-33 percent of new diagnoses.

In 2004, central Brooklyn had twice the city's AIDS mortality rate, and women of color represented 95 percent of new female infections, according to New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

"The epidemic started in the gay community -- and our groups will always be there -- but as the epidemic has evolved, more communities have been impacted," said Hill. The campaign is "an expansion of GMHC's long-standing commitment to providing prevention and education, HIV treatment and AIDS support services as well as advocacy services for individual women as well as visibility in the epidemic."

"This is modeled after what we have found effective," Hill said of the social marketing-based campaign. "It's much more than slapping up a poster on a billboard or side of a bus. It's about having a campaign target a community then having staff and peers who come from and are comfortable with that community to do the one-on-one work."

Back to other news for August 7, 2006

Adapted from:
New York Blade
08.07.2006; Trenton Straube

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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