HIV Prevention in Challenging Subcultures: Reaching Rural Freshmen in University Orientation Classesedit
Compassion fatigue, apathy, and “haven’t we cured that yet?” are the familiar refrains as we adjust to a life that includes AIDS. As Americans tire of talking about the pandemic, we find that youths, women, and minority populations are contracting the virus at frighteningly high rates. Prevention professionals are concerned that funding cuts have resulted from a popular myth that the HAART (highly active anti-retrovi-ral therapies) medication regimen is a cure, not just a treatment. Equally worrisome is that these expensive treatments may divert funding from prevention programming. Prevention professionals are aware that while funding levels decrease, the infection rates continue to increase. Thus, the challenge is to evaluate what prevention messages are getting through and to develop programs that can target populations with a quick intervention that will begin the conversation, add a few facts, and personalize risk factors.