August 2, 1999
Washington, D.C. -- AIDS Action released a new communications handbook today that provides community AIDS organizations with messages and communications tools designed to end AIDS complacency and reinvigorate public concern about the epidemic. A product of AIDS Action's groundbreaking message development project, Talking About AIDS So America Listens is a 30-page guide of talking points and other tools for talking about AIDS issues in ways that resonate with the American people.
"Since the first days of the epidemic, AIDS has been as much a communications and political struggle as a medical and scientific one," said Daniel Zingale, AIDS Action executive director. "Our new handbook is the cure for AIDS complacency."
The handbook is based on AIDS Action's groundbreaking message development project begun in 1998 which revealed that rising infections among young Americans is the one AIDS issue that generates the most concern and resonates most strongly with the American people. Even more important, we found that the youth prevention message increases support for other AIDS issues.
"Our research found that the youth prevention message increases concerns about all other fronts in the fight against AIDS, including research, treatment and stigma," added Zingale. "'Protecting a New Generation from AIDS' is a societal and moral imperative as well as a message that reinvigorates the American people in the fight against AIDS."
Talking About AIDS So America Listens provides local AIDS leaders with data-driven talking points and communications tools on issues ranging from prevention and research to treatment and drug abuse. In addition, the book includes AIDS communications "DOs" and "DON'Ts", media misnomers and frequently asked questions.
"Local AIDS organizations need new weapons in the fight against complacency and the fight against AIDS," added Zingale. "Talking About AIDS So America Listens is the only scientifically proven weapon for ending complacency."
The handbook and AIDS Action's message development project emulates other successful message campaign such as "tobacco-free kids." AIDS Action commissioned Celinda Lake, one of America's most renowned public opinion research leaders, for the project that included focus groups in Atlanta and Milwaukee and several national polls.
Talking About AIDS So America Listens is available to members of the press by contacting AIDS Action's communications department at 202-530-8030, ext. 3065.