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Picture stories for HIV prevention

CENTRE DES R.O.S.É.S. – ABITIBI-TEMISCAMINGUE
PICTURE STORIES FOR HIV PREVENTION

Octobre 9th, 2011

Ados-Cam « la prévention du VIH/Sida », was launched in 2008. Its aim is the education of youth aged 12 to 17 years in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, thus improving their knowledge, attitudes, and understanding in order to reduce risk behaviours associated with HIV infection. Its objective was the creation of a prevention tool made by and for young people attending youth clubs and youth committees in rural areas in the region.

Four youth centers responded to Centre des R.O.S.É.S.’ call to action and each made a virtual picture story. To accomplish this, young people met several times to write the story, set up the photo shoot, find costumes, pose for pictures and produce the novel. Making sure to avoid moral judgements, each picture story depicts young men and women in risky situations accompanied by prevention strategies that they need to develop in order to reduce the risk of contracting HIV.

The four picture stories can be viewed online. A brochure is also available, combining the four stories as well as information about HIV/AIDS and safe practices. In fact, since every home and every community does not necessarily have a high-speed internet connection, this document was prepared and made available in large numbers for the sixty youth clubs and youth committees of Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

Since the fall of 2010, the project took on a new dimension with the « Teen Chat-Cam ». This is an activity that encourages youth in the youth clubs and youth committees to talk about HIV prevention using a dynamic and interactive quiz in which two teams compete on issues of sexual health, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, tattoos/piercings, drug use, etc. The questions are all drawn from the picture stories made by and for young people. It addresses many aspects and, depending on the youths’ questions, the chat sessions can last anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours. Every young person also receives a free kit full of information and the Ados-Cam brochure containing all four picture stories.

Part of this project was made possible through a funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada. The project was presented in thirty-four youth clubs and youth committees so far and met two hundred ninety-four youths. Ados-Cam Tour will run until March 2012.

Marie-Eve Giroux,
community worker, Centre des R.O.S.É.S.

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