HIV/AIDS Program Fosters Communication Between Parents, Children
Parents who participate in a New York-based program focusing on encouraging parent/child communication about HIV/AIDS are three times more likely to talk with their children about the virus, Reuters Health reports. "Talking with Kids about HIV/AIDS," developed at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., brings parents in for six two-hour sessions to inform them of effective ways to discuss this "sensitive issue" with their children. According to developers of the program, "Our data suggest that (the program) positively influences parents' and children's knowledge about HIV, decreases worry about HIV and increases intentions to avoid or reduce risk," adding that it "increases children's comfort in socializing with persons living with HIV/AIDS." Through the program, parents have the opportunity to have an observer monitor their discussions with their children "to see how they're doing." Dr. Jennifer Tiffany of Cornell said that people ages 25 and younger account for more than 50% of new HIV infections each year in the United States. "These numbers are devastating. The goal (of the program) is to help save lives by reducing new HIV infections among young people. Parents and guardians are often the primary health educators of children and teens, but they sometimes need support to feel comfortable and confident communicating about HIV-related issues," she said. To view the program's curriculum, go to http://www.human.cornell.edu/pam/extensn/hivaids/index.cfm (Reuters Health, 11/7).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.