Huge grant to encourage HIV prevention in SE Michigan

A $300,000 grant will enable AIDS Partnership Michigan to collaborate with HIV/AIDS Resource Center for one heck of a marketing campaign.

The grant comes from the Michigan Department of Community Health. The new campaign will target men who have sex with men and young African American men in metro Detroit, Pontiac, and on college campuses in Washtenaw County.

"The goal is to prevent HIV, not to be polite. HIV is a vicious enemy. We will do or say whatever it takes," says APM Executive Director Barbara Murray. Ten years ago, APM's award-winning campaign featured, among other things, billboards of men kissing.

This time around, APM and HARC will be focusing heavily on digital media and community outreach, since the target groups are heavy users of the internet. Social media will be utilized on many levels, as will grassroots efforts and traditional media.

Bill VanHemert, Community Mobilization Project Manager at APM, hopes to have the campaign up and running by the end of the year. "The ultimate goal is to get the community back to testing and prevention," he said.

In addition, APM is revamping its website. The new website debuts on World AIDS Day with expanded capabilities including improved navigation and a fresh new look. Social media including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube will be integrated into the site.

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