Friday, July 24, 2009

New HIV Prevention Campaign

Los Angeles County Launches Its Most Comprehensive
Campaign Ever to Encourage HIV Testing

Up to 70 percent of new HIV infections are spread
by those who do not know they have HIV

LOS ANGELES - July 24, 2009 - This week the Los Angeles County,
Department of Public Health's Office of AIDS Programs and Policy is
launching its most comprehensive community outreach campaign ever to
encourage HIV testing. In Los Angeles County, one in four of those who
have HIV does not know it.

Entitled "Virus," the multi-faceted campaign is designed to raise
doubt and make Angelenos ask the question: "Could I have HIV?"
Throughout the execution of the campaign a striking green image of the
actual HIV virus appears with the headlines: "Is it in you?" and
"Get Tested. The virus could be in you." (find artwork of the
campaign attached.)

The campaign's call-to-action to "Erase Doubt" and get tested for
HIV is captured in a unifying symbol or logo that will consistently
appear throughout future executions of the campaign. The campaign
cleverly twists the familiar red AIDS ribbon into a question mark with
an arrow pointing to a dedicated URL The
combination of the AIDS ribbon and the question mark imply doubt about
one's HIV status while the arrow directs one to erase any doubt by
going to campaign's Web site to locate a testing site and get more
information about HIV/AIDS.

"We developed a campaign around the idea that people go through
several stages when considering HIV and how the disease affects them,"
said Mario J. Pérez, Director, Office of AIDS Programs and Policy.
"Our goal is to move people from assessing their risk, to
questioning whether or not they have HIV and finally getting tested and,
if necessary, seeking treatment. We hope this campaign will educate
residents about their risk and make sure they are aware that free HIV
testing and treatment are available. This is especially important today
when so many are faced with economic hardship."

The "Virus" campaign will officially begin rolling out this week
and will be executed in three phases through 2010. The campaign will be
in English and Spanish and will strategically target those who are most
at risk for HIV in Los Angeles County. These groups include gay and
bisexual men - with an emphasis on Latinos and African-Americans - and
women of color. A majority of HIV infections in Los Angeles County are
among men who have sex with men while HIV infection rates are growing
fastest among Latinas and African-American women.

To effectively reach these audiences, the campaign will utilize a
variety of traditional advertising mediums including billboards, buses,
bus shelters and radio. And, for the first time ever, Los Angeles County
Department of Public Health will tap into the growing popularity of
guerilla marketing and social media sites with an ongoing presence on
Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Many of the campaign's advertisements
along with other campaign elements, such as viral videos can be seen at,, and

The first phase of the advertising effort showing the striking image of
the HIV virus will address the growing complacency around HIV/AIDS
reminding Angelenos the disease is still a serious health threat while
also raising doubt about one's own HIV status.

In December 2009, the second phase of the campaign will personalize HIV
forcing one to face head-on the possibility they could be infected with
the virus. One of the advertisements features a young African-American
man who appears to be healthy. However, the same striking green HIV
virus appears in one of his eyes, and the headline reads: "Get tested.
The virus could be in you."

The third phase, starting in 2010, will address the fact that many in
relationships - gay or straight - falsely believe they are not at risk
for HIV. Focus groups conducted when developing the campaign showed that
gay men and women in relationships thought they were not necessarily at
risk for HIV. The campaign features gay and straight couples where the
same green HIV virus appears in the eye of one of the partners. Again,
the headline reads: "Get tested. The virus could be in you." The
campaign will seek to raise doubt about one's HIV status even though
they are in a relationship.

In an effort to normalize HIV testing and make it as convenient as
possible, the campaign will also host a series of community events
entitled "Test-Fest" that take HIV testing mobile units into the
community. The first "Test-Fest" will take place on Saturday, July
25 from 11 am to 5 pm at Ted Watkins County Park in South Los Angeles.

The event includes live entertainment, celebrity appearances and is
expected to be the largest HIV testing event ever in Southern California
with more than 10 mobile HIV testing units at the event. Anyone
attending the event can get a free, easy, painless and anonymous rapid
HIV test with results in about 30 minutes. Between 300 and 400 people
are expected to get tested.

The mission of the Department of Public Health's Office of AIDS
Programs and Policy is to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Los
Angeles County by preventing its spread, maximizing health and social
outcomes, and coordinating effective and efficient targeted services for
those at risk for, living with, or affected by HIV.

# # # #

>>> "Hammond, Judy" <> 7/24/2009 1:31 PM >>>
True, some of media won't open attachments, but I can try. However,
you change the date to today?

-----Original Message-----
From: True Pawluk []
Sent: Friday, July 24, 2009 1:13 PM
To: Hammond, Judy
Subject: RE: New HIV Prevention Campaign

Here it is in PDF...see if that works.

>>> "Hammond, Judy" <> 7/24/2009 1:07 PM >>>
True, Can you resend the document. Every time I go into it, it
down the document, saying there is a problem with it.

-----Original Message-----
From: True Pawluk []
Sent: Friday, July 24, 2009 12:38 PM
To: Hammond, Judy
Subject: RE: New HIV Prevention Campaign

We have sent it out broadly, so that's your call. You might have
on your list that we don't have. You can change the date to today if
you like.

>>> "Hammond, Judy" <> 7/24/2009 12:36 PM >>>
I see it has a July 21 date. And the Sentinel ran it yesterday; Yahoo
shows it was issued yesterday.

Has it been sent out to other media? I don't want to send it to my
if you sent it out yesterday or before.

-----Original Message-----
From: True Pawluk []
Sent: Friday, July 24, 2009 10:32 AM
To: Hammond, Judy
Subject: New HIV Prevention Campaign

Hi Judy...FYI, this is out there.

True Ann Pawluk, M.S., M.P.A.
Director, Communications

County of Los Angeles
Department of Public Health
Office of AIDS Programs and Policy
(213) 351-8002

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