Text Message-Based HIV/AIDS Campaign Set to Start in Los Angeles
October 20, 2008
A grant from Cable Positive -- the cable industry's HIV/AIDS nonprofit -- will allow AIDS Project Los Angeles to proceed with an innovative new campaign using text messaging, APLA announced on Oct. 8.
The health initiative will employ text messaging to directly address HIV-related concerns or questions of at-risk gay and bisexual youth of color in Los Angeles County. The campaign will launch with a group of around 150 young men ages 13-24 who participate in an APLA youth program.
"Our aim is to help young gay and bisexual men prevent the challenges they face from becoming barriers to healthy behaviors," said Patrick Hebert, associate director of education at APLA. "This project capitalizes on a technology they already use within their existing networks. By encouraging dialogue about HIV/AIDS, we hope to strengthen those networks and help create new ones."
APLA plans to promote the campaign at 21-and-under clubs, gay pride events and local schools. It will also be publicized on the MySpace and Facebook pages of APLA youth program members.
Los Angeles County data show nearly 20 percent of cumulative AIDS cases in the county are among men ages 13-29.