About 20 percent of new HIV infections in the U.S. are linked to Latino men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. The Los Angeles County Department for Public Health says that in 2011, 23,695 Latino men and 3,033 Latina women were reported to be infected with HIV.
AltaMed Health Services, located in Los Angeles, wanted to help reverse this trend. For its creative idea for an original telenovela, “Sin Vergüenza” (“Without Shame”), we award it the Grand Prize for Campaign of the Year (Medium Budget) in Ragan’s 2013 Health Care PR and Marketing Awards. The team created a four-episode Web series filmed in both English and Spanish to encourage people to get tested.
“The Web series introduces dynamic family members who each represent a different age group, sexual orientation and marital status,” according to the entry. “Each family member is at risk of contracting HIV. The Web series addresses difficult issues that families face, but also portrays the unconditional love and support that carries this family through a challenging time.”
The target audience was Los Angeles area Latino men, women, and pregnant women age 13 and older. The CDC provided AltaMed with a $385,000 grant to produce the series. The first webisode was launched on World AIDS Day.
Through its media outreach, it achieved 29 popular English and Spanish-language national and local media placements, and the coverage reached about 126.2 million people.
Most important, since the launch of the webisodes, AltaMed has seen an increase in routine HIV testing in its clinic by more than 37 percent and has identified three positive HIV cases since December 2012.
Congratulations to Sandy Nesheiwat and Lauren Astor.
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