Spreading the Word: Pennsylvania Students Spend Summer Learning About HIV/AIDS, Stage Play to Teach Others
August 15, 2003
Twelve students, ages 12 to 16, from the McKeesport Area School District and nearby schools in Pennsylvania, researched HIV/AIDS as a summer job. The students spent nine hours a week for eight weeks researching and reporting on HIV. At the end of their research, they performed in a play about AIDS.
The play depicts a young woman who gets a tattoo in a dirty salon, shares a heroin needle, and has unprotected sex. She dies of AIDS at the end of the play.
The project, sponsored by the McKeesport Collaborative's HIV/AIDS Working Group, paid each student a stipend of $300 for their research and performance. The students researched all aspects of the disease, including its history, symptoms, transmission and treatment. They also had a discussion with an HIV-positive woman and participated in a demonstration on proper condom use.
"We learned a lot about HIV and AIDS, the variety of ways that you can get it and how you can prevent it," said participant Michael Seman, 15.
Preston Robinson, 14, said he understands one of his responsibilities is to take what he learned back to others at McKeesport High School. "It's important for us to go out and teach others," he said.
The students will continue to perform their play for community groups until their final performance on October 4, marking the start of the third annual Mon Valley HIV/AIDS Awareness Walk, sponsored by the McKeesport Collaborative.
08.13.03; Mary Niederberger
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.