Media Campaign Development Intern
Summer 2016

Description: Each year, approximately 50,000 people are infected with HIV in the U.S. In fact, every 9 ½ minutes someone is infected.

Unfortunately, 1 out of 8 people with HIV do not know they are infected.

HIV testing is an HIV prevention method promoted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). HIV testing works for HIV prevention for several reasons: (1) When people find out they are HIV positive, they decrease their risky behaviors to prevent further spread of HIV; (2) When people find out they are HIV positive, they may receive HIV treatment which will decrease the amount of virus in the body, the main biologic factor that contributes to ongoing spread of HIV; and (3) HIV testing offers the opportunity to provide preventive health counseling to people presenting for testing.

In 2006, the CDC issued new recommendations for HIV testing of ALL people ages 13-64 in healthcare settings in high HIV prevalence areas — like Houston and all major metropolitan cities in the U.S. Now 10 years later, many people still have not been tested. In a 2011 national survey, 42% of people wanted more information on whether or not they should be tested for HIV. This same survey found that 62% of people reported getting their HIV information from the media. Despite the media’s prominent role in providing HIV information, people surveyed noting seeing less and less about HIV in the media in recent years.

Most recently in 2012 recommended routine HCV screening for certain high-risk populations. As is true for HIV, many people still have not been tested and remain unaware of their infection.

The purpose of this project will be to develop media campaigns to improve HIV and HCV screening in Houston.

This experience is ideal for students who are pre-med or those students interested in attending graduate school programs in the social/behavioral sciences or public health.

Expectations of Student:

*Help coordinate development of patient-facing and physician-facing campaigns to improve HIV screening and HCV screening in healthcare settings
*Assist with survey and interview development and then administer to participants
*Recruit patients and physicians to participate in the research studies
*Assist with data collection and preparation for data analysis
*Help design final campaigns (e.g.., print, video, mobile phone-based)
*Participate in all aspects of the research project including:
-Assisting with Institutional Review Board protocols for research approval
-Provide research updates at weekly research team meetings
-Conduct literature searches and reviews
-Serve as the team liaison with the research sites, research staff, consultants, and outside collaborators

Suggested Prerequisite Training:
*Excellent communication skills required
*Exceptional organizational skills required
*Must be able to multi-task in a fast-paced academic research environment
*High school diploma required
*Vehicle required; research site clinics are ~ 10-15 miles away from Texas Medical Center in Houston, TX