Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Virginia’s Regent University Produces AIDS Prevention Film Aimed at Tanzanian Soldiers
Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., with a $110,000 grant from the federal government, has produced a short film aimed at preventing HIV transmission among Tanzanian soldiers, the Virginian-Pilot/Washington Times reports. The 36-minute film, titled "On the Edge," features U.S. actors portraying soldiers and Steven Kiruswa, a Tanzanian doctoral communications student at Regent, portraying an AIDS instructor. The film was made in the United States and in Tanzania, where approximately two million people are HIV-positive. Although Regent University is a Christian graduate school, the film advocates both abstinence and condom use as methods to prevent HIV infection. Kiruswa said, "The message [of the film] is clear: There are all kinds of ways to protect yourself from getting AIDS. Abstinence is one. Using condoms is another. Being faithful to your partner is a third." Kiruswa added that an abstinence-only message would not have "m[et] the needs" of the soldier audience, some of whom "won't practice abstinence." Approximately 600 Tanzanian soldiers have viewed the film so far, and Kiruswa and Kenny Jackson, the film's director, last month returned to Tanzania to add an epilogue to the film featuring interviews with HIV-positive soldiers. Regent University officials have said that spending U.S. money on the AIDS prevention project is in the best interest of the United States because HIV/AIDS among Tanzanian soldiers could lead to a "weakened" military that could easily be overthrown (Walzer, Virginian-Pilot/Washington Times, 10/21).
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