253433 Building Healthier Communities through Art As Prevention

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gregory W. Edwards, EdD , Flowers Heritage Foundation, Oakland, CA
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that many young people do not know the basic facts about HIV risk and prevention; nearly 37% of all persons living with AIDS in California are between the ages of 13 and 29; and a large number of young people participate in unprotected, multiple partnered, unsafe sexual activity, and lack critical information regarding the spread of HIV. Don't Turn Your Back on AIDS”™ (DTYBOA) is an HIV/AIDS awareness art competition. In an interactive environment, high school students learn imperative information regarding HIV risks and prevention. Students creatively interpret their views and artistically express themselves under their art teachers' instruction. Consequently, their awareness is increased about contracting HIV and their risk behaviors are reduced. Students are then challenged to creatively interpret their own thinking through artistic expression. Art education teachers promote the program, build their curriculum around it, and encourage participation around an art contest. It provides an interactive environment where high school students learn the imperative information regarding HIV risk and prevention. Evaluation shows that program objective are met and healthier communities are established as a result of the student's participation. Program outcome data reports increased student knowledge about HIV risk, prevention, and transmission; significantly increased student awareness of HIV/AIDS; inspired students to take further action against the HIV epidemic; and a discernible impact on student knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors as reported by teachers. Consequently, through this program, participants become potential peer educators, public health ambassadors, and public service advocates.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Educate high school students with basic facts about HIV risk, transmission, prevention, and screening. Raise awareness about the HIV/AIDS health crisis, myths, and stigma. Reduce risk behaviors among sexually active youth populations. Engage students through innovative, interactive, experiential activities in a traditional setting. Build a healthier community where education, creativity and health promotions are inspired.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a seasoned health care professional with a terminal degree from Harvard University and have successfully submitted and had my work accepted for presentation and several national and international meetings.
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.