HIV study targets Hispanic youth with social media

USF researchers are looking for Hispanic youths between the ages of 13 and 24 to participate in a study that aims to raise awareness of HIV.

The study, which began this month, is recruiting the youth to be tested for HIV. To find them, USF Department of Pediatrics researchers are employing all forms of social media — including online dating profiles that advertise the tests.

Peter Gamache, a research and evaluations specialist at USF and coordinator of the study, said the efforts are being funded by the National Institute of Health and are innovative in their peer-to-peer outreach approach.

“Many outreach efforts we’ve seen have been very passive in generating awareness,” he said. “We’re using social media in ways that are much more direct. We’re basically asking them to talk to four friends or sexual partners, because they’re the ones that are most knowledgeable about what’s going on and unprotected exposures.”

Read the entire article at The College Media Network.