According to the CDC, the majority (80%) of women with HIV became infected by unprotected sex with an infected male partner. Black and Latina women accounted for 82% of AIDS diagnoses in women in 2005.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether a series of 12-weekly data and theory-based urban soap operas will promote a reduction in HIV sex risk behavior in young urban African American and Latina women. Toni’s Story is based on content analysis of focus group discussions with the target population.
By grounding stories in urban women’s own experiences, via a popular medium of the soap opera, women can identify with the heroines’ emotionally charged process of change, transforming their behavior through a new awareness of their value as women, of their choices, and their potential. Messages about reducing HIV sexual risk are designed to fulfill familiar relationship needs. Because trust, sexual pressure and power form the nexus of sex scripts associated with HIV sexual risk, these themes are examined through the pursuits of the various characters as sub-plots.
If the aims of this proposal are achieved, potentially hard to reach young urban women who may be at risk for HIV will be able to access health promotion videos on their own cell phones. The popularity of the cell phone and use of the Internet for multimedia provide a new communication channel to address health disparities.