WASHINGTON: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has chosen Porter Novelli to run a three-pronged initiative furthering a controversial new approach to HIV prevention.
The three loosely related campaigns, with a combined annual budget of under $1 million, were first outlined in a June RFP (see here). Each targets healthcare pros who deal regularly with HIV-infected patients - a shift in strategy that has upset some critics.
The CDC announced a shift in its HIV-prevention efforts last year, saying it would focus its messages less on the general public and more on those already infected. The hope is to prevent spread of the disease by better educating patients about ways they can keep others safe.
The new strategy has elicited complaints from critics who say it diverts money from efforts to educate at-risk populations.
"We consider [these campaigns] to be the leading edge of where HIV-prevention efforts are headed," said Rob Gould, GM of PN's Washington office.
One effort will seek to reduce barriers to prenatal HIV testing; another would advise adoption of the CDC's Prevention in Care Recommendations; a third seeks to make HIV testing a routine part of medical care.
PN, which is now wrapping up formative research, held a launch meeting in Atlanta with CDC reps last week. Carrie Schum, recently promoted to SVP, will lead the account, which will be divided between PN's Washington and Atlanta offices.