Lifestyle choice education pro- grams that focus on sexual behavior and drug abuse are common HIV/AIDS prevention programs (see Table 4.4). Some of this preventive education is done through public media cam- paigns that include television commercials, billboards, radio messages, and print advertise- ments that act as reminders to be selective about sexual part- ners and to use protection in the form of condoms when engaging in a sexual relationship. Some HIV/AIDS prevention programs are taught in schools in an attempt to provide HIV/AIDS prevention to entire generations.
It is important to note that HIV is not only spread through sexual contact. Needle sharing among intravenous drug users continues to spread HIV and other diseases throughout vulnerable populations. Needle exchange programs, like Clean Needles Now (n.d.) in Los Angeles, California, provide clean needles for drug users. Although such programs do not necessarily work to prevent intravenous drug use, they do work to prevent the spread of disease. Needle exchange programs were banned from receiving federal funds for 20 years because many in society worried that such programs contributed to drug abuse. The ban was lifted by Congress in 2009 (Sharon, 2009). By allowing needle exchange pro- grams to receive federal funding, such programs can expand services to include drug abuse counseling and medical care.
Program Pros Cons
Public media campaigns Transmit prevention education to a large audience through television, radio, and billboard advertising.
Public media campaigns are expensive, and many of the advertised programs are viewed as inaccessible by low-income individuals.
Community programs The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Partnerships Program supports educational and HIV prevention programming through community-based organizations.
Community programs rely on community-based organizations such as schools and churches to educate the public, thereby creating issues of accessibility and programming differences.
Street outreach programs Go directly to the communities that most need HIV prevention education and support.
Street outreach programs are costly to run and often rely on private donors and volunteers through community-based organizations. These programs are rare in most regions.
Needle exchanges Reduce needle sharing among intravenous drug users, thereby reducing the transmission of HIV.
Social attitudes that view needle exchanges as enabling drug abuse restrict funding and access.