Guam- With more HIV infections increasing among young people under the age of 37, the Department of Public Health is finding new ways to stop those numbers from rising any further.
Public health just launched a new STD/HIV prevention campaign under the umbrella of the Prutehi Hao! Protect Protect Yourself program. According to Program Control Coordinator Vince Aguon and Program Supervisor Bernie Schumann, they also selected young people under the age of 24 to shoot a music video with film director Alex Munoz. The video demonstrates how young adults speak their minds about STD/HIV prevention and adopting safer sex behaviors. By using the power of social media technology, the year long campaign takes a fresh approach at how adolescents and the community can learn to truly protect themselves.
“Through dance and through the original written poetry by the rap artists, the messages are there to stay smart, stay safe and I believe that message will be a very strong message for our campaign this year” said Schumann.
“The way we can target our groups is to educate them” remarked Aguon. “And that way, in turn, it can help prevent infections. Once people know how they can decrease their risks, they’ll start practicing and acting it out…and what better way than through dance and song.”
Since 1985, 225 HIV infections were reported to the local public health department. In 2010, Chlamydia infections increased by 16% in young adults between the ages of 15- 25 years old. The increase is 5%-9% higher than Chlamydia screening programs in the U.S. nationwide. For more information or to see the new campaign, visit www.prutehihao.org .