GREATER THAN AIDS Promotes Unity, Power of Community
Multi-Platform Campaign Incorporates PSAs, Integrated Content and Community Activities
MENLO PARK, Calif., June 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, leading U.S. media companies announced a new coordinated national campaign to mobilize Black Americans in response to AIDS and promote specific calls-to-action to prevent and reduce the further spread of HIV. Greater Than AIDS - a multi-faceted campaign presented under a common brand that includes targeted public service ads (PSAs) as well as integrated messages in news, entertainment and community content - seeks to strengthen a sense of community among Black Americans in response to HIV/AIDS.
From the outset, AIDS has disproportionately affected Black Americans, who today account for nearly half of new HIV infections in this country, while representing just 12 percent of the population. In some U.S. cities -- notably those with large Black populations -- prevalence rates are considerably higher than the national average. Some 500,000 Black Americans are estimated to be living with HIV today -- and those infected face greater barriers to care and treatment and are more likely to die of AIDS than other racial or ethnic groups.
According to a recent national survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Black Americans are more personally worried about HIV/AIDS - with more than one in three having a family member or close friend who is living with or has died from HIV/AIDS - as compared to other races or ethnicities. Even so, tracking surveys reveal a decreasing sense of urgency, including among Black Americans, about the epidemic. "The sustained collaboration by media to deliver a concise and consistent message creates a powerful opportunity to draw attention about the disproportionate impact of HIV on Black America and promote both individual and community-level action," said Drew E. Altman, Ph.D., President and CEO, Kaiser Family Foundation, which is coordinating media commitments and managing campaign production. According to the same survey, 44 percent of Black Americans name media as their primary source of information about HIV/AIDS, far more than any other single source, including family or health care providers.
Inspired by a line in a speech by President Obama on World AIDS Day in 2006, the central idea behind the Greater Than AIDS message, which is presented as an "internal dialogue" within the Black community, seeks to inspire hope and promote the possibility of change in the AIDS epidemic facing Black America through the united actions of individuals, families and communities. Greater Than AIDS stresses six specific actions in response to the epidemic: being informed; using condoms; getting tested--and treated, as needed; speaking openly; acting with respect; and getting involved.
The campaign's logo is the mathematical symbol for "greater than." This simple image visually and readily conveys unity and empowerment. The symbol also has the effect of suggesting forward action - like an arrow. The symbol is mimicked in the popular hand sign for "peace" rotated 90 degrees.
"The central idea behind the campaign is to remind us as Black Americans that we are greater than any challenge we have ever faced, and that we are Greater Than AIDS as well," said Phill Wilson, Founder and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute, which is advising on the initiative. "It is about a shared responsibility in the face of AIDS - and hope for the possibility of an HIV-free future."
The Greater Than AIDS campaign is being developed and distributed by the Black AIDS Media Partnership (BAMP), a coalition of leading media companies. It is being produced in collaboration with Act Against AIDS, a major five-year communications effort by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to refocus attention on HIV and AIDS domestically. "CDC is pleased to collaborate with the Kaiser Family Foundation on the Black AIDS Media Partnership (BAMP), which complements CDC's recently initiated Act Against AIDS campaign and exemplifies the type of private sector commitment needed to combat HIV and AIDS," said Kevin Fenton, M.D., director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention. "Media partnerships like these are critical to bringing a renewed sense of urgency and resolve to ending the HIV epidemic in the hardest hit communities across the nation."
The campaign brand and initial creative elements begin rolling out this week leading up to National HIV Testing Day (June 27th). The first wave of campaign content will include radio, outdoor, print and online elements, with television content planned for release in the fall. Test 1 Million, a corresponding campaign produced by the Black AIDS Institute to test one million Black Americans a year also is being distributed as part of with the Greater Than AIDS campaign. A comprehensive website - www.greaterthan.org - serves as the primary referral for all campaign messages.
A growing roster of media are supporting this first wave, including: American Urban Radio Networks, AOL Black Voices, CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel Communications, ESSENCE Communications, the National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters, the National Newspaper Publishers' Association, and theLoop21.com, among others. The campaign is extended beyond the PSAs through integrated content and community outreach. Among the company-level commitments announced today:
Additional BAMP supporting companies and commitments will be announced in coming months.
About the Black AIDS Media Partnership
The Black AIDS Media Partnership (BAMP) is a sustained commitment among major U.S. media companies to work together to address the AIDS crisis facing Black Americans. Organized in collaboration with Act Against AIDS, a multi-year effort by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help refocus national attention on the HIV/AIDS crisis in the United States, the Partnership is undertaking a coordinated campaign presented under a common brand - Greater Than AIDS - to reach Black Americans with life-saving information about HIV/AIDS and to confront the stigma surrounding the disease.
The Kaiser Family Foundation - a leader in health policy and communications - is providing strategic direction and day-to-day management for BAMP, as well as overseeing campaign production and helping to support member company commitments. The Black AIDS Institute, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and a number of other AIDS and civil society organizations serving African-American communities are also providing strategic leadership, guidance, and technical assistance to the initiative.
The Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-profit private operating foundation, based in Menlo Park, California, dedicated to producing and communicating the best possible analysis and information on health issues.
|SOURCE Henry J. Kaiser Foundation|
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved