Sexually Transmitted Infection Program Targets Women of Color in Brooklyn

By Paul DeBenedetto on April 29, 2014 10:30am 

 Planned Parenthood's Project Street Beat launched "Your Body Needs You," a program designed to raise awareness about sexually transmitted infections and HIV in communities of color.
Planned Parenthood's Project Street Beat launched "Your Body Needs You," a program designed to raise awareness about sexually transmitted infections and HIV in communities of color.
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DNAinfo/Paul DeBenedetto

BROOKLYN — A new Planned Parenthood program designed to raise awareness about sexually transmitted infections and HIV is targeting women of color in central Brooklyn.

The program, called "Your Body Needs You," uses targeted advertising to promote testing and safe sex for black and hispanic women ages 20 to 44, organizers said.

As part of Planned Parenthood's Project Street Beat, which travels New York City providing testing and information, program directors worked with women from organizations like the Magnolia House Women's Shelter for inspiration, organizers said.

"Women in communities can look at these and see themselves, and see that this is speaking to them in a voice that's theirs and in images they know," said Planned Parenthood president Joan Malin.

In the first half of 2013, about 95 percent of women with new HIV or AIDS diagnoses in the city were in communities of color, according to the city's health department.

"Your Body Needs You" works in affected neighborhoods — like Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights — by using advertisements containing women of color in local businesses and on bus shelters.

"It's not the population that usually gets reached out to," said Richard Meador, director of social services at Magnolia House. "What has come from this is a wonderful message of empowerment."

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