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Strengthening Partnerships to Combat HIV in Georgia

September 3, 2013

Originally published July 25, 2011

The Georgia Department of Public Health HIV Unit has partnered with the Black AIDS Institute and Kaiser Family Foundation to promote HIV awareness amongst the hardest to reach populations in Georgia with the Georgia is Greater Than AIDScampaign.

Since the beginning of the movement in September 2009, Georgia’s Department of Public Health HIV Unit has been at the forefront of aligning the state’s prevention messaging with the campaign.   The national Greater Than AIDS campaign is localized in Georgia by replacing WE>AIDS with Georgia>AIDS and by adding the state’s HIV infoline to materials that connect Georgians to local HIV testing locations, health care providers and support groups.

Georgia was the first state to work with the Greater Than AIDS campaign to produce a local version of the campaign, featuring 20 state residents whose faces and profiles are featured in both local and national campaign elements. These individuals are also called upon as spokespersons for the campaign in Georgia, participating in media interviews, keynote speeches and other outreach events. Georgia Greater Than AIDS works with local health departments and community based organizations through the state to expand the reach of the campaign in hard hit areas concerning HIV.

In continued support of the Georgia Greater Than AIDS campaign the HIV Unit conducted an HIV (HBCU) Historically Black College and Universities Testing Tour in the spring of 2011. Georgia’s HBCUs on the tour included Albany State University, Fort Valley State University, Paine College, Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, and Spelman College.  The Georgia Department of Public Health HIV Unit conducted on-site over 500 HIV antibody tests and nearly 300 STD screenings and thousands more were reached with the HIV awareness information during the Georgia Greater Than AIDS HBCU Testing Tour.

A representative survey of Georgia residents, 18 and older, conducted in the spring of 2011 found that 64 percent had seen a Greater Than AIDS PSA, and one in five (19 percent) reported having talked with someone about HIV/AIDS as a result of the advertisement.

The Georgia Department of Public Health HIV Unit staff is committed to keeping the promise and educating all Georgians about HIV where they live, work, play, and worship.