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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
CANADA: HIV North Launches New Social Media Campaign
By Elizabeth McSheffrey
January 10, 2014
Daily Herald-Tribune (Grande Prairie, Alberta) (01.09.2014)

The Daily Herald-Tribune reported on the recent launch of a new social media sex education campaign directed at individuals located at work sites in the province of Alberta, Canada. HIV North Society’s “#sexatsite” initiative targets individuals who work on camps, rigs, or other related sites. The initiative uses the most popular social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, to broadcast safe sex messages. The campaign uses the analogies of keeping “safety gear” close by, like those required on work sites. Condoms, the initiative maintains, should be the required safety gear in the bedroom to prevent HIV and STDs, as hard hats are required on sites. “We know that there’s an issue within rural areas with [sexually transmitted infection] rates being higher than the majority of Alberta rates,” said Brenda Yamkowy, executive director of the HIV North Society. “We are working very hard to try and get the message out there that it’s totally preventable and to get tested,” she added. According to the HIV North Society, social media reaches youth as well as transient people, who often work on sites. “I think it will be effective because people will be able to look at it really quickly and it gets to the point really fast,” said Yamkowy. Though the campaign targets the Fort McMurray area, Yamkowy hopes that it will become popular across the province of Alberta. The campaign will release a new cartoon poster each week, and a new YouTube video every two weeks. The theme revolves around workplace safety, but it applies to all sexually active individuals, according to Yamkowy. ”If you’re sexually active and you play hard and you work hard, then make sure that you wear your personal protective equipment,” she said. For more information, go to http://sexatsite.ca, or call (780) 538–3388.

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