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August 13, 2003

American Indian HIV Awareness Campaign

The Center for American Indian Health is working with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) to develop an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign aimed at American Indian young people. The campaign will target college-aged students and is being developed in cooperation with the 35 tribal colleges and universities in 12 states.

“According to the CDC, young Native American woman may be the fastest growing HIV population in the world,” said Stacy Bohlen, director of the; project and director of federal relations for AIHEC. Bohlen is also a member of the Chippewa tribe.

According to Bohlen, the public service campaign is the first national campaign to target American Indians. It is being developed with participation from student leaders from the Tribal College network. An advisory council, charged with developing the message for the campaign, met at the School of Public Health in July. Once completed, the campaign will use video, radio, internet, and print to reach young people on school campuses and social gatherings where students are most likely to be involved in risky behavior.

Allison Barlow, MPH, associate director of the Center for American Indian Health, said, “We’re partnering with AIHEC to provide technical support and training to facilitate the students' message development and campaign strategy.”

The campaign is funded by a $380,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health, Office of Minority Health. The campaign is schedule to launch in March 2004.

Public Affairs Media Contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons or Kenna Brigham at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.