189603 Unique and innovative approaches in traditional settings can promote HIV/AIDS awareness and provide public health solutions

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gregory W. Edwards, EdD , Flowers Heritage Foundation, Oakland, CA
Mark Winter, BS , Flowers Heritage Foundation, Oakland, CA
Jim Jaeger , Flowers Heritage Foundation, Oakland, CA
People under 25 are estimated to make up HALF of all new HIV infections in the U.S. and in a 2006 study, the California Department of Health Services Office of AIDS declared nearly 37% of all persons living with AIDS statewide are between the ages of 13 and 29.

High school students' awareness of the AIDS health crisis increases and their risk behaviors reduce respectively after an interactive presentation where they get the facts regarding HIV risk and prevention. Students are challenged to creatively interpret their own thinking through artistic expression. Art education teachers promote the program in their fall curriculum and encourage students to participate. An art contest serves as a vehicle for inspiring creativity, learning art technique, and raising awareness on this sensitive subject.

Focusing on low-income, under-funded high schools and promoting an HIV prevention-the annual high school student art competition exhibits student talent. Local artist, museum curators, and art critics judge the artworks that are exhibited in a major gallery over World AIDS Day commemorations. Students learn that they are able to apply their talents to raise awareness and change pubic health outcomes in their community. Guests bid on the artwork by silent auction, raising funds for future programs, and contest winners and their schools receive awards and public recognition.

Students, their family and friends, and guests become more sensitive to and better informed about issues related to HIV/AIDS through this program; and participants become potential peer educators, public health ambassadors, and public service advocates.

Learning Objectives:
Recognize and assess dual educational objectives for teaching art and increasing HIV/AIDS awareness among adolescents and teens in a traditional high school setting. Describe, develop and replicate a model program based on basic principles and innovative design that addresses the need for increasing HIV/AIDS education and awareness among a high risk, target population. Create solutions for a serious public health threat and improve the lives and well-being of youth, families, and communities in a non-threatening and effective way. Develop and inspire creativity and foster public health responsibility, simultaneously, in high school age people that could potentially create artists, peer educators, or public health ambassadors.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: HIV/AIDS educator, consultant and administrator for 20 years; EdD degree fro harvard University, previously presented Poster at APHA
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.