Online Program

Theatre arts for health promotion: Using performance art for sex education and HIV prevention for North Carolina youth

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Niranjani Radhakrishnan, BSPH, Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC
Arianna Taboada, MSW, MSPH, Art and Global Health Center, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Alexandra Lightfoot, EdD, Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Amy Butaine, MFA, Campus Health Services, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
introduction: According to the World Health Organization, the rise of HIV/AIDS and sexual violence highlights the need for promoting sexual health as a human right. North Carolina (NC) adolescents are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. The proportion of adolescents/young adults ages 13-24 living with HIV in NC has increased from 15.9% in 2006 to 22.9% in 2010. These increases highlight the need to frame HIV as a social justice issue and promote sexual health as a human right. Intensified HIV education and prevention efforts that consider the socio-political and cultural context for this age group are imperative. 

methods:  AMP! is an HIV prevention model that uses Arts-based, Multi-intervention, and Peer-education strategies: undergraduate students in a college course are trained in HIV, health education, and interactive theater to deliver school-based performances to “near peer” high school students. The AMP! approach weaves together humor, vulnerability, personal narrative, and medically accurate information to promote HIV prevention knowledge and strategies. Derived from the college students’ own experiences, the performance amplifies the NC curriculum unit on Reproductive Health and Safety in a non-heteronormative and non-stigmatizing way for the high school audience. 

conclusions: The rising HIV incidence among young people, along with a history of abstinence only education in NC, begs for innovative, effective, culturally relevant strategies for HIV prevention. Peer health education as well as theater-based interventions have been shown to be effective practices for health promotion; the combination of the two in the AMP! program is a compelling strategy for engaging youth at risk.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Explain how an arts-based peer-led education can be utilized for sexual health promotion interventions Identify the process of developing an art-based peer-led sexual health intervention for high school students

Keyword(s): Adolescents, HIV Interventions

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Currently, I'am at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) working toward a master of public health and a master of city and regional planning. I'am also a Program Assistant for the Office of Student Wellness (Health Promotion and Prevention Initiatives). In 2013, I participated in this study as a member of the peer-education team that developed, rehearsed, produced, and delivered the theatre-based educational piece and the interactive workshops for the high school students.
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.