I Got Tested for HIV... And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt
by Nicole Joseph
What does it take to get youth to learn their HIV status? Tactics range from shockvertisements, showing the trials of living with the virus, to early sex ed. But in today’s goodie-bag culture, a free T-shirt can speak way louder than words. Randy Shepherd of Werd! Interactive, a software company that offered an HIV-themed mobile-phone game to kids who got tested last year, says, “Any motivational tool is a good thing.” Below, some parting gifts.
Rap concert tickets
Two free mobile-phone games
Gift certificate raffle entry
T-shirt with HIV slogan
Houston, Texas June, 2007
Huntsville, Alabama June, 2006
Des Moines, Iowa June 2006
Kampala, Uganda March, 2006
KBXX 97.9 The Box, Texas state representative Borris Miles and the TexStars Foundation Project
The AIDS Project of Central Iowa
Fight Against AIDS
Fans of stars Lil Wayne and Kelly Rowland got a free ticket to see the artists perform if they took an HIV test; recipients had to be between the ages of 15 and 30.
Mobile users received a free code to download the games: They could play one while waiting for their test results and one after they got home from the clinic.
This event offered free testing for HIV and hepatitis—along with free food, gift bags and a raffle entry for a $100 gift certificate from a local mall.
Lecturers and students at Makerere University, Uganda's largest college, received a free self-testing kit and a T-shirt that read "Just do it, Know your status."