Saturday, August 09, 2008

New AIDS prevention effort hinges on gift cards

ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- Could the AIDS virus be stopped with gift cards?

Desperate for a way to stop the escalating spread of HIV among young gay men, public health officials are looking to novel strategies, such as enlisting local gay opinion leaders to urge their peers to practice safe sex.

Promising signs from such a project in North Carolina led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to begin rolling it out on a broader scale, to more than 200 community organizations. The budget is $1.5 million over a two-year period.

The idea is to give gift coupons to popular, influential men in the gay community and encourage them to talk up condom use, regular HIV testing and other responsible actions.

It may sound frivolous, but little else has proven effective for the men most affected by the epidemic. Continue Reading >>

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