271080 Seeing through a new lens to transform HIV prevention messages

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Linda Robinson, APRN-BC , Reproductive Health Consultant, Columbia, SC
Kathryn Luchok, PhD , Institute for Families in Society, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Issues: Traditional training for sexuality education/HIV prevention often suffer from the “curse of knowledge”, a tendency for content to get so steeped in the accuracy of details that the message is lost. When trainings forgo accessibility, they inadvertently perpetuate information imbalances between trainers and learners. Transforming messages to be more effective requires looking through a new lens to find better ways to communicate and share information. Description: Derived from listening to countless personal stories though 13 years of clinical practice, these innovative approaches help people easily understand difficult topics, illuminating compact, core messages that promote understanding, retention, and application of content. Using everyday language, simple analogies, and concrete metaphors helps core messages “stick;” ideas are easily understood and have a lasting impact because they are tied to familiar concepts individuals already know. Shifting from dramatizing sex to normalizing sex veers away from the fear-based messages that have had little success in reducing HIV transmission. This shift more effectively promotes HIV prevention because it uses humor and concrete easy-to-assemble tools to help make complicated reproductive facts simple and memorable. Lessons Learned: Normalization increases the comfort level of learners to open their minds; concrete sticky messages and tools strengthen the knowledge they already have and stimulate acquisition of new knowledge. Participants report high satisfaction with the transformative nature of the training. Recommendations: This approach to training can be used for all aspects of comprehensive sex education with a variety of audiences, including social services providers, health professionals, paraprofessionals, and clients.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Explain a new paradigm for normalizing human sexuality. Discuss how this paradigm can be used in HIV prevention. List the elements that make messages stick with clients.

Keywords: Health Communications, Professional Training

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over 13 years of clinical experience as a board certified advanced practice registered nurse serving the reproductive health needs of thousands of clients, including prevention of HIV and STIs. I also am a reproductive health consultant and developed the training materials described in this presentation.
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.