The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3074.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 1

Abstract #66135

Music teaches Romanian youth to open their hearts and eyes

Irina Dinca, MD, PhD, Merce Gasco, PhD, and Sophia Brewer, MPH. JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc., Intrarea Mihai Eminescu, Nr. 5, Sector 2, Bucharest, Romania, 40-21-210-2077,

Romania has some of the highest rates of AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Eastern Europe. Sexually active youth under the age of 25, in particular, are at highest risk for HIV/AIDS and other STIs. A summer 2002 campaign targeted at Romanian youth reached over 100,000 teens and young adults in cities and Black Sea resorts. During one month, 20 Romanian NGOs-under the umbrella of the Romanian Ministry of Health and Family and the Ministry of Education and Research-jointly planned and implemented an innovative public education campaign on HIV/AIDS prevention and de-stigmatization called Open Your Eyes, Open Your Heart. The campaign targeted youth aged 15 - 25 and involved three popular bands. The bands recorded a campaign song, issued testimonials aired by local and national media, and toured 10 major cities in Romania. The bands held concerts, participated in AIDS quilt tours, and met with students from high schools and universities, including people living with AIDS (PLWA). Campaign messages included increasing self-perception of STI/HIV/AIDS risks among youth, safer sex, and de-stigmatization of PLWA. They also included abstinence and faithfulness. Sending these messages through the bands was a very powerful tool and attracted thousands of young people in discussions about safer sex and condom use. With more than 100,000 youth participating in the concerts, outreach, and in-school activities, the Open Your Eyes, Open Your Heart campaign was very successful in reaching youth and will serve as the basis for future campaigns.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Media Campaigns

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Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc.
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Bridging the Cultural Divide

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA