In an effort to increase HIV testing among young people, Verizon Wireless, CDC and University of Georgia's New Media Institute are collaborating on a project that transmits videos featuring college couples talking about getting tested for the virus via students' cell phones, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.Advertisement
According to the Journal-Constitution, the project is the result of a conversation at a journalism conference three years ago about how to use students' cell phones for important social messages. Five teams of students from Atlanta recorded more than one dozen videos promoting testing, while Verizon donated high-tech equipment and $12,000, and CDC provided $30,000 and relevant information. The goal is to have several videos ready for release by June 27, which is National HIV Testing Day.
Kevin Fenton -- director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention -- said increased testing can help curb the spread of the virus, particularly because one-quarter of HIV-positive people do not know their status. "We are especially concerned about HIV and younger people," he said, adding, "We have to make sure our messages are innovative, relevant and culturally competent. There's no better way than to involve young people."
Pamela Ezell -- a filmmaker and faculty member at Chapman University
who participated in the project -- said it was "one of the greatest educational-production-real-world experiences I've ever had" (White, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2008 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.