Serial Passage: Aids, Race, and Culture — Phase II

Project Website(s)

  • Abstract

    Serial Passage: AIDS, Race, and Culture. is a 3-4 hour documentary film series and curriculum enhancement that examines the process of scientific inquiry in the development of the serial passage/contaminated needle theory of the origin of HIV/AIDS as well as the disproportionate impact of the pandemic upon Africans and African-Americans. The long term objective of the documentary film series/curriculum enhancement is to foster a heightened awareness of the need for HIV prevention among African-Americans, particularly teenagers, who are at high risk for contracting HIV, and who have often proved unresponsive to traditional HIV prevention messages. African-Americans constitute 12.1 % of the US population but account for almost 50% of the new HIV/AIDS cases. The documentary film series is being made with a small cohort of 20 inner-city African-American high school students in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The students work on the documentary series as footage evaluators, apprentice filmmakers, and will ultimately be its narrative voice. They are also research subjects. An interim evaluation report showed a dramatic increase in the students’ perceived knowledge of HIV/AIDS, and a substantial decrease in their reported sexual activity. A widespread and scientifically significant Phase II evaluation of this project would be conducted via pre and post anonymous surveys administered to African-American teenagers, (high school students), and matching control groups. The ABC and PBS networks have already agreed to screen the documentary series for broadcast consideration. The Phase II application proposes to 1) complete editing and postproduction of the documentary series, and 2) work with curriculum writers and an educational video distribution company on the development and dissemination of the documentary series/curriculum enhancement.