Local and Community News
California: Community Groups Launch African American AIDS Campaign
January 9, 2003
Not all men who have sex with men are gay or bisexual identified. And as recent reports have revealed, HIV prevention often leaves out a large percentage of people who are at risk, particularly people of color who reject what is thought of as the "gay male community." A new advertising campaign by Promotions West and Community Education Group seeks to reach African Americans left out by traditional images and messages. Using the community-created character, "Ms. Ellie," the advertising campaign features an older African-American woman whose image appears on bus shelters, inside Muni cars, and in print media to express concern for her community.Adapted from:
"Are you Tippin?" Ms. Ellie asks with a knowing glance, then encourages men to use protection and get tested. "Tippin" is defined as a man who lives a heterosexual lifestyle and engages in sex with other men but does not identify as gay. The banner message "AIDS is all of our business" drives home the point that HIV/AIDS is disproportionately affecting the African American community, regardless of sexual orientation or identity.
Eighteen community-based groups -- including Positive Direction, a Bayview-Hunters Point project, the Mission neighborhood organization Sage, and the Tenderloin's Oshun Center -- were involved in the campaign's development. Its focus is on the community as a whole, rather than specific sexual behaviors.
"With the rising rate of HIV in our community, there should be many campaigns on the streets targeting various segments of the African-American community," said Toni Young, executive director of CEG. African Americans have the most HIV cases of any group in San Francisco. Additionally, noted the campaign, 46 percent of all women with AIDS in San Francisco are African American. Visit www.communityeducationgroup.org for more information.
Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco)
01.02.03; Zak Szymanski
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.