Florida: Students Put HIV Message on Big Screen
June 29, 2007
Around 80 people, mostly teenagers, attended the premiere of three student-made films on HIV/AIDS at the University of Miami's Mailman Center for Child Development on Wednesday afternoon. In their films, the South Florida students explored different elements of the epidemic, focusing especially on the HIV problem among young people. According to CDC, people 25 and under represent one of the fastest-growing segments of new HIV/AIDS cases, and blacks and Latinos are particularly affected.
The event was sponsored by Promote to Prevent (PTP), a program operated by the university's adolescent medicine division. PTP collaborated with Miami-based Little Director, a company that creates films out of children's drawings, to produce the three-minute movies. The teens wrote scripts and produced the storyboards before doing voice-overs for the animated characters in each movie.
"We know these kids don't listen to boring stats. I've always felt you have to do different things for these kids or you don't get through to them," said Alex Moreno, who runs PTP.
"The kids were very passionate about it from the beginning," said Yuri Velasquez, a PTP instructor. "We make it fun."
Maria Rivera, a recent graduate from Miami Jackson Senior High School, and fellow students made the film "Butterfly," which tells the story of a girl who forgives the person who gave her HIV. "I would just like teenagers to be aware of how easy it is to contract HIV," said Rivera. The other films, "Secret Cycle" and "Growing Apart," were made by students from Switchboard of Miami, a counseling service, and the after-school program Young Girls to Young Ladies.
PTP offers anonymous HIV and STD testing, education and counseling for people ages 13-24.
06.29.2007; John W. Cox
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.