SEXUAL HEALTH: Cell phones soaps help spread safe sex messages.

A film, to be distributed through cell phones, will urge women to use safe sex practices. Photo by Women's Power.

A film, to be distributed through cell phones, will urge women to use safe sex practices. Photo by Women's Power.

Women’s Power, a campaign aimed at educating women to protect themselves against HIV and AIDS, will distribute 12 soap opera-type videos to New Jersey women through cell phones in order to spread the safe sex messages and test the videos’ effectiveness.

Women’s Power founder Dr. Rachel Jones created the videos based on true stories from women in Newark and New Jersey City, NJ. The vignettes use professional actors to portray different scenarios women have encountered. She hopes women will relate to the videos in order to change their current unsafe sexual practices.

 The Associated Press  reported that the 250 women participating in the study will be shown the 20-minute episodes on their cell phone while their behavior is monitored and measured against a control group that will only receive text messaging urging condom use.

The innovative use of cell phones to spread safe sex messages is said to be used in order to ensure privacy and offer viewers the opportunity to view the videos as many times as they want.  

Dr. Jones  has dedicated her career to reducing HIV and AIDS for young, urban black and Hispanic women who are “being infected at an epidemic rate.”

According to the news story, New Jersey has the “highest proportion of women living with AIDS in the United States.”

Personally, I feel the acting in the short films could be better, but the scenarios and the way the issues are discussed between the women in the videos are very real. I think it accurately captures how women and men are still doing very stupid things, like having unprotected sex despite knowing the risks and consequences. I also feel distributing the videos through cell phones will be irrelevant to the actual message portrayed. You can view a couple of the videos by visiting www.stophiv.newark.rutgers.edu.   

 – JD

2 Responses to “SEXUAL HEALTH: Cell phones soaps help spread safe sex messages.”

  1. MORE ON http://WWW.PLWHA.ORG

    There are some simple steps all HIV-positive tourists can take regardless of their destinations to minimize chances of undue customs delays or outright deportation:

    * Look healthy. Travelers who appear to be ill are likely to be targeted for indepth questioning or inspections.

    * Be discreet and polite.Don’t draw any undue attention to yourself that could cause customs officials to pull you aside.

    * Don’t advertise the fact that you’re HIV-positive. It pains me to have to give that kind of advice, but you might not want to wear a PLWHA t-shirt.

    * Keep your anti-HIV medications in their original bottles, and do not attempt to hide the containers. If you’re hiding them customs officials may think they contain contraband and may hold you to verify that they are permitted into the country.Opening packages or taking pills out of their prescription bottles will delay your time in security(more info).

    *Pack extra medicine and supplies when traveling in case you are away from home longer than you expect or there are travel delays.

    *If you are taking injectable medications (e.g., Fuzeon, insulin, testosterone) you must have the medication along with you in order to carry empty syringes(more info).

    *Depending on the circumstances it may be worthwhile taking along a doctor’s certificate (in English) which shows that the holder is reliant on the medication and that it has been prescribed by the doctor.Carry a copy of your prescriptions in your carry-on, purse, or wallet when you travel.

    *You can ask and are entitled to a private screening to maintain your confidentiality. Show copies of your prescriptions and/or your medication bottles and if you have any problems ask to see a supervisor.

    In general, the above points apply to entering countries with ambiguous or restrictive regulations: as long as HIV positive status does not become known, there will be no serious problems for a tourist. However, if someone is suspected of being HIV positive, or if the authorities have concrete reasons to believe they are, entry may be refused. Since october 2008 non-immigrant US visas are granted to HIV-positive people who meet certain requirements, instead of waiting for a special waiver from DHS(more info).

    My philosophy on the whole issue is that it’s not an issue, so I don’t present it as one.And I’ve never had any problems over the years of extensive travel.

    MORE ON http://WWW.PLWHA.ORG

  2. globosexuals Says:

    Wow, thank you for taking the time to post this! This is all very informative.
    I will take a look at your website and hope to write more about this.

    Thank you!

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