Next stop: Using buses to promote HIV-testing awareness
A University of Pennsylvania study will determine if public transit can convey more than people going from point A to point B. Video displays on public buses in Los Angeles will be used to help determine the efficacy of an innovative soap opera-like video program designed to increase HIV testing among low-income African Americans 14 to 24 years of age.
The program - "Reality Check" - will be show on video monitors on public buses over a 27-week time-frame. Each episode of "Reality Check" explores relationships and decision-making among a group of young African Americans. The episodes carry an underlying message to get tested for HIV.
Each three-minute episode of the show will display for one week on buses on a Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Back episodes will be available on a YouTube link from the transit company website.
"Developing age- and culturally appropriate interventions to promote a healthier lifestyle among this population is paramount to their survival and to the health of their sex partners," explains co-investigator Christopher Coleman, associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. "This is a study that could yield a wide-reaching, cost-effective intervention."