Alliance for Living Services
Education and Prevention
"Positively Speaking" is an HIV/AIDS risk reduction education program which pairs HIV educators with people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).
This program is based on the following tenets:
- Learning must take place within both the cognitive and affective domains to promote behavior change.
- New, difficult or challenging information requires multiple, sequential learning opportunities.
- Individuals must perceive their own risk of a negative health outcome to undertake a change in health behavior.
The overall goal of Positively Speaking is to prevent HIV infection among individuals, especially adolescents. Other goals include:
- To increase factual information and decrease misinformation about HIV/AIDS
- To describe, discuss, and build skills regarding the various behaviors and options that reduce the risk of HIV infection
- To address attitudes and feelings (fear, homophobia, invulnerability) that act as obstacles to integrating HIV information and making behavioral changes
- To promote awareness and understanding of the personal and social aspects of living with HIV/AIDS infection
An AIDS educator will cover specific information regarding transmission and prevention. This will give participants the opportunity to build skills for risk reduction. A range of behavior options are examined, from abstinence to practicing safer sex.
A PLWHA who has been trained to teach at an age-appropriate level will give a personal presentation, allowing questions and answers. The personal story of a PLWHA bring a unique and needed perspective to these issues, one that cannot be learned in a textbook or study program. This is a vital resource in all attempts to educate and reduce the risk of infection. This personal perspective is an essential component of the program and makes it unique among HIV/AIDS prevention/education programs.
A list of follow-up activities is provided to teachers. One suggestion, for example, is for participants to write letters to the speaker as a way of processing their reactions to the presentation. Students should walk away from this session with resources and the ability to access them.
This program is presented free of charge, although donations are accepted. For any additional information or to schedule a Positively Speaking program, please call the Carol Jones at 860-447-0884 ext. 231. Please plan your sessions well in advance.