New focus on relationships to address HIV locally, globally

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Yesterday’s Washington Post featured an article by David Brown detailing how scientists in sub-Saharan Africa are taking a new approach to the HIV and AIDS epidemics spreading across the continent — to “prevention campaigns that focus on couples and partner testing — with a counselor present when the status of each is revealed.”  This innovation is slightly controversial, as the messages must be carefully constructed with attention to tone, and making sure the message is inclusive for all people to come get tested, regardless of their relationship status.

This novel tactic is not only being tested in Africa, but also right here in Washington, DC. The DC Department of Health’s newest campaign encourages partners to communicate openlyand Know Where You Stand about three key issues: do we know our HIV status? Is it just the two of us in the relationship? And do we use condoms?  Knowing the answers to these questions can help smooth the sometimes bumpy road of relationships and help keep both partners safe and healthy.

The hot new promotional item featuring the Know Where You Stand campaign.

Read Brown’s full article, “Scientists at AIDS meeting urge HIV prevention for long-term couples in Africa” here, then listen to the new radio spots for the Know Where You Stand campaign here, then let us know what you think of both campaigns.  What are your strategies for talking to your partner, or encouraging friends and family to talk to their partners, about knowing each other’s HIV status, using condoms, and understanding whether or not more than two people are in the relationship?

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