Illinois Youth & HIV/AIDS: Forum ’09

The Children’s Place Association & The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration

Archive for the ‘Illinois Department of Public Health’ Category

Governor Pat Quinn Approves Soto, Delgado Bill to Create State Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS Prevention Messages Targeting Youth

Posted by David Ormsby on September 1, 2009

Governor Pat Quinn

Governor Pat Quinn

(Springfield , IL) – 1 September 2009. Governor Pat Quinn last week approved legislation that creates a new state advisory council to help state government develop effective HIV/AIDS prevention messages targeting youth.

The legislation, House Bill 3974, sponsored by State Representative Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago) and State Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago) would create the Advisory Council on Youth HIV/AIDS Prevention Messages to advise the Illinois Department of Public Health on effective prevention messages to deter youth from engaging in risky behaviors that lead to HIV/AIDS infections.

“The percentage of Illinois HIV/AIDS infections that is represented by youth has been growing enormously over the last eight years, and that growth, in part, represents a failure of HIV/AIDS prevention messages to effectively reach youth” said Cathy Krieger, President & CEO of The Children’s Place Association based in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood.

“We are grateful to Governor Quinn that he recognizes the problem of youth HIV/AIDS infections and is acting to address the problem.”

State Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago)

State Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago)

On February 27, 2009, at the 2nd annual Illinois Youth & HIV/AIDS Forum sponsored by The Children’s Place Association, the Illinois Department of Public Health presented data that revealed that the youth proportion of reported HIV/AIDS infections in Illinois has grown from 10% in 2000 to 20% in 2008—a 100% increase.

“This is a staggering increase,” said Krieger.

In addition to the IDPH data, new research was presented by Dr. Dexter Voisin, an Associate Professor, University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration that examined the attitudes of Chicago-area college students in seven focus groups, including blacks, Latinos, whites, males, females, and gay men—regarding HIV/AIDS prevention messages.

The research findings revealed all groups reported a significant reduction in the intensity, range, and the length of media messages on HIV prevention and testing over the last 5 years.

More specifically, the research showed that young blacks and Latinos in Chicago tend to distrust most sources of government information on HIV/AIDS prevention. And young Latina women in Chicago fear getting an HIV/AIDS test out of concern that they may be labeled negatively as “fast” women.

Additionally, all respondents said they would be likely to take their parents seriously if they spoke to them about sex and HIV/AIDS transmission.

Of the 50 students who participated in the focus group research—only one had been tested for HIV/AIDS.

“The bottom line is that AIDS awareness initiatives and media prevention messages targeted at young people in Chicago – and African-Americans and Latinos in particular – are not working,” said Krieger. “We think the advisory council approved by Governor Quinn is a good step to address the problem.”

The Children’s Place Association is Illinois’ only child welfare agency exclusively dedicated to the care of HIV/AIDS infected children and families in Illinois.

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Illinois House Approves Soto Bill to Create State Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS Prevention Messages Targeting Youth

Posted by David Ormsby on April 2, 2009

(Springfield , IL) – The Illinois House on March 25th voted 114-0 to approve legislation that creates a new state advisory council to help state government develop effective HIV/AIDS prevention messages targeting youth.

State Rep. Cynthia Soto

State Rep. Cynthia Soto

The legislation, House Bill 3974 sponsored by State Rep. Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago) would create the Advisory Council on Youth HIV/AIDS Prevention Messages to advise the Illinois Department of Public Health on effective prevention messages to deter youth from engaging in risky behaviors that lead to HIV/AIDS infections.

“The percentage of Illinois HIV/AIDS infections that is represented by youth has been growing enormously over the last eight years, and that growth, in part, represents a failure of HIV/AIDS prevention messages to effectively reach youth” said Cathy Krieger, President & CEO of The Children’s Place Association based in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood.

Krieger testified before the House committee.

The Children’s Place Association is Illinois’ only child welfare agency exclusively dedicated to the care of HIV/AIDS infected children and families in Illinois.

On February 27, at the 2nd annual Illinois Youth & HIV/AIDS Forum sponsored by The Children’s Place Association, the Illinois Department of Public Health presented data that revealed that the youth proportion of reported HIV/AIDS infections in Illinois has grown from 10% in 2000 to 20% in 2008—a 100% increase.

“The bottom line is that AIDS awareness initiatives and media prevention messages targeted at young people in Chicago – and African-Americans and Latinos in particular – are not working,” said Krieger. “We think the advisory council proposed by Rep. Soto is a good step to address the problem.”

The legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration.

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Illinois House Committee Approves Soto Bill to Create State Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS Prevention Messages Targeting Youth

Posted by David Ormsby on March 12, 2009

(Springfield , IL) – The Illinois House Children and Youth Committee today voted 7-0 to approve legislation that creates a new state advisory council to help state government develop effective HIV/AIDS prevention messages targeting youth.

State Rep. Cynthia Soto

State Rep. Cynthia Soto

The legislation, House Bill 3974 sponsored by State Rep. Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago) would create the Advisory Council on Youth HIV/AIDS Prevention Messages to advise the Illinois Department of Public Health on effective prevention messages to deter youth from engaging in risky behaviors that lead to HIV/AIDS infections.

“The percentage of Illinois HIV/AIDS infections that is represented by youth has been growing enormously over the last eight years, and that growth, in part, represents a failure of HIV/AIDS prevention messages to effectively reach youth” said Cathy Krieger, President & CEO of The Children’s Place Association based in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood.

Krieger testified before the House committee.

The Children’s Place Association is Illinois’ only child welfare agency exclusively dedicated to the care of HIV/AIDS infected children and families in Illinois.

On February 27, at the 2nd annual Illinois Youth & HIV/AIDS Forum sponsored by The Children’s Place Association, the Illinois Department of Public Health presented data that revealed that the youth proportion of reported HIV/AIDS infections in Illinois has grown from 10% in 2000 to 20% in 2008—a 100% increase.

Dr. Mildred Williamson, Illinois Department of Public Health

Dr. Mildred Williamson, right, HIV/AIDS Section Chief, Illinois Department of Public Health. Mary Dixon, left, ACLU.

“This is a staggering increase,” said Krieger.

In addition to the IDPH data, new research was presented by Dr. Dexter Voisin, an Associate Professor, University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration that examined the attitudes of Chicago-area college students in seven focus groups, including blacks, Latinos, whites, males, females, and gay men—regarding HIV/AIDS prevention messages.

The research findings revealed all groups reported a significant reduction in the intensity, range, and the length of media messages on HIV prevention and testing over the last 5 years.

More specifically, the research showed that young blacks and Latinos in Chicago tend to distrust most sources of government information on HIV/AIDS prevention. And young Latina women in Chicago fear getting an HIV/AIDS test out of concern that they may be labeled negatively as “fast” women.

Dr. Dexter Voisin

Dr. Dexter Voisin

Additionally, all respondents said they would be likely to take their parents seriously if they spoke to them about sex and HIV/AIDS transmission.

Of the 50 students who participated in the focus group research—only one had been tested for HIV/AIDS.

“The bottom line is that AIDS awareness initiatives and media prevention messages targeted at young people in Chicago – and African-Americans and Latinos in particular – are not working,” said Krieger. “We think the advisory council proposed by Rep. Soto is a good step to address the problem.”

Youth and Family Committee members include State Representatives: Greg Harris, LaShawn Ford, Mike Fortner, Will Burns, Michael McAuliffe, Al Riley, and Dave Winters.

The legislation now moves to the full House for consideration.

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Young Blacks, Latinos in Chicago Tend to Distrust Most HIV/AIDS Prevention Messages, New Report by University of Chicago Researchers Says

Posted by David Ormsby on March 2, 2009

(Chicago, IL) – Young blacks and Latinos in Chicago tend to distrust most sources of information on

Dexter Voisin, Ph.D.

Dexter Voisin, Ph.D., University of Chicago

HIV/AIDS prevention, according to a new report drafted by University of Chicago researchers.

That finding and others were released at the 2nd Annual Illinois Youth and HIV/AIDS Forum at the Chicago Cultural Center on February 27.

The new report—focus group research that examined the attitudes of seven focus groups of Chicago-area college students, including blacks, Latinos, whites, males, females, and gay men—was presented by Dr. Dexter Voisin, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.

“The research reveals that AIDS awareness initiatives and media messages targeted at young people in Chicago – and African-Americans, in particular – fail to gain traction with them,” said Voisin. “The youth

Youth panelists at the 2nd Annual Illinois Youth & HIV/AIDS Forum.

Youth panelists at youth and HIV/AIDS forum.

noted the irony of a 30-second HIV/AIDS public service announcement embedded within sexually charged television programming.”

Government public health messages also fall flat.

“The youth are deeply suspicious of government and can cite the Tuskegee Experiment, in which doctors falsely offered treatment to syphilis-infected sharecroppers in order to observe the degree to which the body was ravaged,” said Voisin. “They know their history and it complicates today’s HIV/AIDS battle.”

Other report findings include:

  • Media forms have a gender bias—young women respond to story lines, young men respond to celebrities and billboards.

    15th Ward Alderman Toni Foulkes attended all sessions of the 1/2 day forum.

    15th Ward Alderman Toni Foulkes attended all sessions of the 1/2 day forum.

  • that they may be labeled negatively as “fast” women.
  • Whites seemed to get most of their information from, and are most strongly influenced by, medical and public health authorities, as well as from biology and sex-ed lessons at school.
  • Celebrities and more popular media forms appear to be less consequential media formats for whites than they are for blacks and Latinos.
  • All groups reported a significant reduction in the intensity, range, and the length of media messages on HIV prevention and testing over the last 5 years.
  • Posters and billboards effectively reach men, especially on public transportation.
  • Text messaging is not a popular option for communicating prevention message because it would irritate youth.
  • Facebook and other peer networking sites might be a good place to launch ads and awareness campaigns.
  • Respondents said they would be likely to take their parents seriously if they spoke to them about HIV/AIDS.
Ralph DiClemente, Ph.D., Emory University

Ralph DiClemente, Ph.D., Emory University

In addition to Voison’s research, the forum included a panel of HIV/AIDS infected or at-risk youth who spoke of the virus’ impact on them, a panel of state public policy experts debated possible legislative policy initiatives by the Illinois General Assembly, and a luncheon keynote speech by Emory University Professor Ralph DiClemente, an expert on HIV/AIDS and adolescents.

The Chicago-based The Children’s Place Association, a non-profit child-welfare agency that provides specialized care to children, young people, and families battling HIV/AIDS, funded the research.

“When you examine the Illinois HIV infection rate, the percentage of the epidemic that is represented by youth has been growing over the last five years,” says Cathy Krieger, President & CEO of The Children’s Place Association.

Between 30 and 50% of new infections occur in people between the ages of 13 and 24, according to The Journal of the American Medical Association research published on August 6, 2008.

Fox TV reporter Robin Robinson moderated the Illinois Youth & HIV/AIDS forum.

Fox TV reporter Robin Robinson moderated the 2nd Annual Illinois Youth & HIV/AIDS forum.

“Different HIV prevention messages work for different people,” said Krieger. “It is a matter of life and death that youth in Chicago hear HIV prevention messages that can help them prevent the disease’s spread.”

Krieger said that young African-Americans’ distrust of traditional government public health messages was the most disturbing finding.

“There is a distinct disconnect between government and health institution messages and what youth in the black community hear,” Krieger says.

The Illinois Department of Public Health, represented by Dr. Mildred Williamson, Ph.D., MPH, the department’s HIV/AIDS Chief, presented a statistical portrait of HIV/AIDS in Illinois, noting that the youth proportion of HIV/AIDS infections in Illinois has grown from 10% in 2000 to 20% in 2008–a 100% increase.

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