CDC spends dollars 5m on 'private sector' tactics in fight against AIDS

ATLANTA: The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has earmarked dollars 5 million of its massive dollars 700 million AIDS and HIV prevention program budget for a widespread public information campaign.

ATLANTA: The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has earmarked dollars 5 million of its massive dollars 700 million AIDS and HIV prevention program budget for a widespread public information campaign.

ATLANTA: The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has earmarked dollars 5 million of its massive dollars 700 million AIDS and HIV prevention program budget for a widespread public information campaign.

The CDC announced the launch of the targeted program, called SAFE for Serostatus Approach to Fighting the HIV Epidemic, last week at a retrovirus conference in Chicago.

For the first time, CDC is using sophisticated geodemographic targeting systems to better determine its primary audiences.

Michelle Bonds, director of the campaign, explained the CDC's new strategy: 'What we are trying to do is employ private sector tactics to promote the benefits of HIV testing and research to people at risk,' Bonds said, 'and using these to market a health behavior.'

CDC used Communication Sciences Group, a San Francisco firm that specializes in designing and evaluating health promotion campaigns. Researchers went beyond the typical characteristics of sex, race and lifestyle, delving into such factors as media preferences, transportation use, recreational habits and product preferences.

Five key clusters of people were identified and focus groups were conducted to determine how CDC could most effectively reach each group.

The campaign will be piloted in five cities beginning this spring, with radio PSAs, posters and point of sale materials created specifically for each cluster.



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