HIV message -- get tested -- used in buses

June 26, 2011 at 5:08 PM

PHILADELPHIA, June 26 (UPI) -- Researchers are set to test if video displays on public buses in Los Angeles will increase HIV testing among low-income African-Americans ages 14-24.

Study co-investigator Christopher Coleman, associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in Philadelphia, says "Reality Check" will be shown on video monitors on public buses during 27-week period.

Each three-minute episode of the show will display for one week on buses on a Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Each episode explores relationships and decision-making among a group of young African-Americans, with an underlying message to get tested for human immunodeficiency virus, Coleman says.

Back episodes will be available on a YouTube link on the transit company Web site.

"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," Coleman says in a statement. "This is a study that could yield a wide-reaching, cost effective intervention."

The researchers say they will conduct anonymous bus stop surveys of 1,600 African-American ages 14-24 who ride the bus in impoverished areas immediately after an episode and three and six months after it is shown.

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