Washington Post Examines National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Efforts To Educate Teens About Drug Use Link to HIV
The Washington Post on Thursday examined a public awareness campaign sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse that aims to inform young people about the link between drug use and HIV infection. The campaign, which began last week, emphasizes the fact that alcohol and any drug use, not just injection drug use, can foster risky sexual behavior, which increases the risk of contracting HIV. NIDA is targeting young people ages 13 to 24, who the institute says face "a growing risk of contracting HIV," the Post reports. "Teens are involved in sexual activity. They are involved in drug activity. When you put those together, you get a lot of the risks for contracting HIV," Don Vereen, special assistant to NIDA's director, said. The institute wants to address the problem before the rate of HIV infection among young people rises. "We want to introduce this information early, not when the rate (of increase over one year) is 10%," Vereen said. The campaign is running an advertisement on television stations around the country, as well as at a movie theater in Washington, D.C. The ad in January 2006 also will be shown on Times Square's Astrovision screen in New York City and in retail stores including Circuit City, Best Buy, Costco and Sears. Print ads also are running in transit systems in the district, Chicago and Dallas (Donovan, Washington Post, 12/8). The campaign also includes a Web site, hiv.drugabuse.gov. Partners for the campaign include the AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth and Families, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the United Negro College Fund Special Programs Corporation (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/1).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.