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Boston: New HIV Prevention Film

May 12, 2003

Anne Norris of Newton, Mass., who is an associate professor in the Boston College Connell School of Nursing, recently co-developed a new HIV prevention and education program for female African-American adolescents. In the film, "Women's Voices, Women's Lives," HIV-positive African-American women from Boston speak candidly about their experiences, and they warn younger women about the dangers of HIV. Working with Norris on the project was Connell assistant professor Rosanna DeMarco.

The film's participants are from the Healing Our Community Collaborative, an educational nursing initiative for Boston women with or at risk for HIV. The idea for the project came from the women in the collaborative, which is sponsored by the Connell School and Boston Medical Center's Center for AIDS Care and Research. A Boston College Research Incentive grant and other university funding have supported the project.

According to the nurse researchers, "Women's Voice" is a powerful example of using intergenerational education and film as a medium for fostering behavioral change. "There is a tradition in the African-American community of pulling the next generation along," said Norris. "This film, with older women sharing their wisdom, works well for this cultural group. These women use the language and have the background of the younger women they are targeting. It is very powerful to have someone who looks like you give you this message. It all works to create something meaningful and relevant."

The film will be used to educate professional and lay groups and as part of an Internet-based prevention effort for teens. The Internet project will give teens password-protected access to chat rooms, e-mail, topical links and the "Women's Voices" video. Johnson & Johnson is supporting a pilot intervention program at a Boston area drop-in center this summer, and plans are underway to introduce the program to Boston schools in 2004. Chad Minnich, who shot the film, and the researchers hope to merge the film with footage of the women talking about making it to create an educational documentary for professionals and for women newly diagnosed with HIV.

Back to other CDC news for May 12, 2003

Previous Updates

Adapted from:
Boston Globe
05.04.03; Cate Coulacos Prato

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.
See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More on HIV Prevention Multimedia for Young People


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