Authored by Sarah Hamilton
As a new parent, I’ve been watching a lot of television. A lot. But something the other day gave me pause: a commercial featuring an African-American woman talking about her experience as an HIV-positive single mother in America today. This spot was part of We are Greater than AIDS,
the national media movement launched by the Kaiser Family Foundation
and the Black AIDS Institute in 2009 to respond to the AIDS crisis in
the U.S., with particular emphasis on the severe and disproportionate
epidemic among Black Americans. Importantly, it ran during So You Think
You Can Dance (yes, I admit it)…not only are we talking about prime time
placement, but an audience one can assume is made up of young adults
and teens, an age group that continues to be at risk with latest
statistics showing that those between 13 and 29 accounted for 34% of new
infections in 2006 (Kaiser, June 2011).
A few years back I remember having the same feeling after seeing a
PSA-type trailer before a movie that featured Magic Johnson (check out
the work of the FCAA member organization Magic Johnson Foundation here); I tried to remember the last time I had seen something like this (hint: it was close to a decade).