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Eastside Woman Launches “Redefine Positive” Campaign to Create New HIV/AIDS Video Resources for Classrooms in Washington State
Date:9/3/2013

Seattle, WA (PRWEB) September 03, 2013

Jodie Howerton of Woodinville, Washington, mother of an HIV positive son, has begun a campaign to ensure that supplemental HIV/AIDS video materials utilized in public schools are up to date. She is partnering with Washington State’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation, and the documentary film company, North 40 Productions, to create four 12 to 15-minute educational videos to help students in grades 5-12 understand HIV in a real life context. The videos will be available free of charge to all school districts in Washington State and will eventually be available to other school districts across the nation.

In 2010, after having two biological children, Jodie and her husband Mike decided to adopt an HIV positive son from South Africa. Thousands of children in Africa contract HIV/AIDS from their mothers during childbirth every year, but access to beneficial anti-retroviral drugs is limited and HIV/AIDS remains a death sentence for many of these children. In the US, where HIV/ AIDS drugs are more readily available, the disease is now considered a chronic, but manageable illness, and one that can be lived with indefinitely.

Two years ago, when Jodie’s daughter reached 5th grade in their neighborhood public school, parents were given the opportunity to review the HIV/AIDS video materials before they were shown to the students. “I was surprised and concerned by how outdated the video materials were. The videos had been produced in the 1980’s, were fear-based, and contained inaccurate information. HIV/AIDS has changed drastically since then. I could not stand by and let my children and all students in my community not have access to more up to date, relevant educational videos about HIV and AIDS,” says Howerton. After
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