This spring, Body Positive began piloting an innovative strategy for reaching people at risk for HIV: a call-in radio show offering advice about HIV/AIDS issues from a licensed clinical psychologist who offers immediate referrals to the programs and services of Body Positive. The half-hour show has been airing on "WWRL 1600 AM -- Urban Talk Radio" on Wednesdays from 2:30-3:00 pm, and reaches a predominantly African-American listenership.
Each show features call-in question-and-answer sessions with a psychologist linked with referrals to specific resources available through Body Positive. Each show features listener calls on a wide range of HIV-related topics. The show's host provides individualized responses that direct callers to examine how they are framing the issue cognitively and what steps they might next take behaviorally. The show emphasizes the need for callers to obtain accurate and meaningful information for their circumstances, and generally includes a referral to the Body Positive Helpline (1-800-566-6599, Mon-Fri. 10 am-6 pm). The show also provides information about Body Positive support groups and other programs and services.
One key to the success of the show has been the show's host, Dr. Joel "Buzz" von Ornsteiner, who gives the show its accessible title of "Ask Dr. Buzz." A New York State-licensed clinical psychologist who currently works with a forensic population in the courts, prisons and schools, Buzz has written the "Psychologically Speaking" column in Body Positive Magazine and he recently hosted a talk show on 92.7 WLIR. The show's executive producer is highly experienced broadcaster and BP supporter, Cliff Love, formerly of WABC-TV, who has also been a longtime supporter of Body Positive's programs and services.