Monday, December 7, 2009

Social Marketing 101

Everybody's talking about Facebook and Twitter, and you want to get in on the action.. But your agency has no marketing department and only a few spare dollars to spend on this type of campaign.

Never fear.. Two California organizations, one with federal funding behind it, are here to help. "In an effort to increase primary prevention to prevent STD transmission and unintended pregnancies, the California Family Health Council (CFHC) Infertility Prevention Project and the California STD/HIV Prevention Training Center (CA PTC) have teamed up to create a web-based Youth Social Marketing Toolkit (YSMT). The toolkit provides an overview of how agencies with limited financial resources can develop a social marketing campaign that reaches out to youth and young adults."

Answering such questions as: "What is social marketing?" and "What do you want to say?" with case studies and samples, the Toolkit aims to bring the idea and promise of social marketing in line with efforts on the ground.

The writers of this toolkit are careful not to sell social marketing as the cure for all ills. You still need to follow the core concepts of successful marketing even in the new media environment. "Social marketing is not always a success. If the attitudes and behavior changes you are encouraging are still not perceived as beneficial, acceptable and attainable by the priority population, it may not be worthwhile to develop a social marketing campaign at this time. In this situation, it is better to introduce a behavior change recommendation by developing connections with community and agreeing on a unified goal before planning a social marketing campaign."

For more information: Youth Social Marketing Toolkit

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dipping a Toe in the River

While visions of walls of paper files have portrayed health care providers as the last relic in the old school, a group of public health professionals has rallied around the cause of emerging technologies. The National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) this week released its final "Guidelines for Internet-Based STD and HIV Prevention," covering a wide range of technologies from banner ads to video games and mobile phones.

From the latest addition, Guidelines for Health Communications: "While the various websites and communication platforms covered in this document are popular and in wide use today, it is important to acknowledge that trends and technologies will certainly change. The arrival of new, currently unknown, technologies can be expected as can the use of these new media by our target populations. As such, it is important that public health professionals stay aware of, even track, how our target populations are using the various technologies and continually strive to meet them where they are. At a minimum, a periodic assessment of how your target audiences use electronic media is suggested."

The guidelines also include resources for further reading and tools for building and evaluating an Internet campaign, just to give an example.

For more information: Guidelines for Internet-Based STD and HIV Prevention

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Law Pits Internet Against Women's Rights

Women in Oklahoma, beware, the Web is being used against you..

Update: As part of the legal challenge against the bill, the start of enforcement has been postponed until December 4, so that the judge could "look further into the case." Stay tuned...

Instead of using technology to increase access to care, broaden the range of options for care and unite consumers in pursuit of care, Oklahoma legislators are hoping to bring the state back to the time of the Salem witch trials or Nathaniel Hawthorne, take your pick.

As of November 1, you'll have another, higher hurdle to jump to get an abortion in your state. Starting on that date, you'll be asked more than 30 personal questions about yourself, including your race, marital status, age, medical history and reasons for getting an abortion. If it wasn't enough that only 4% of Oklahoma counties even have an abortion provider, those practitioners will have to submit that personal information to the state Health Department, which will then post the answers on a public website. No, it won't include your name and other "identifying information," but I'm sure that's small comfort to women from small towns, especially those of a racial or ethnic minority, God forbid.

Pro-choice groups have filed a lawsuit contending the bill tackles more than one subject at once, a violation of the Oklahoma constitution, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for October 30. In case you were dubious, this procedural gambit has worked before, in the case of a bill requiring women to get a graphic description of an ultrasound before being allowed to get an abortion.

For more information:
See the text of the bill here -- It's HR 1595

Center for Reproductive Rights case information

Friday, September 18, 2009 sponsors webisode: The 'O' Mission

Is Indya going to get tested using So far I've just watched the first four webisodes of a new series called The 'O' Mission, which aims to normalize sexual health conversations between peers and lead viewers back to sponsor to follow suit.

The 'O' Mission recruited real, accomplished musicians to play the band and has gone on a film tour starting with Columbia College Chicago in May of this year. This marketing tactic, unique and obviously expensive, will be interesting to follow. I couldn't find the videos on Youtube yet, but it would be nice if the story was easier to share with friends. Also interesting is that The 'O' Mission mentions at every 'commercial,' yet, doesn't highlight the connection. Perhaps a smart move to bring in a certain audience, with out alienating everyone else who might not connect as well to Indya and the 'O' Mission crew.

A Reuters article about the webisodes and the connection highlights the fact that this is a resource heavy campaign, but it could make a larger dent with better engagement of networks and sharing tools. Maybe that's coming.

Is Indya STD prevention's new darling?? Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

PEP for HIV Exposure? A New Widget's Maiden Voyage

Post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP for short, is a course of anti-retroviral drugs that can reduce the risk of HIV sero-conversion after an exposure if taken in a timely manner. The guidelines for administering PEP have changed over time, and for doctors deciding when to go for it hasn't always been clear.

Now there's a widget to help!

The New York Times reported today about the release of a new tool to 200 emergency room doctors in New York State. The tool "walks users through a screening process to determine whether they are candidates for treatment, provides specific information about the 28-day course of antiretroviral drugs, and even links to consent forms in 22 languages, including Creole, Laotian and Yoruba."

The tool can be easily updated by the health department with changes in recommendations and statistics so that the doctors can always have the latest to go on. And with the critical window for PEP at less than 72 hours, its time that decision making is made easier. I'd be happy to see an evaluation of this trial period, and if successful, expansion to others states. Perhaps there are other health care decision making models that can be digitized. We'll see.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

2009 School Wellness Conference

The California School Boards Association, the California Department of Education and the California Department of Public Health will bring together a diverse group of school community leaders who play a role in creating sustainable healthy school environments. The 2009 School Wellness Conference, in Anaheim California, October 6th - 7th, will build on the inaugural conference that focused on best practices and resources; statewide success stories and model program workshops; improved access to healthy foods and physical activity opportunities; sample district policies that promote health on school campuses; and strategies to help schools succeed in implementing and evaluating their local school wellness policies. The 2009 School Wellness Conference will:

* Address critical health issues and their link to student academic achievement;
* Focus on school governance and leadership.
* Bring together school and community leaders to share collaborative and coordinated school health approaches; and
* Address health disparities and support a cultural shift toward healthier students.

The conference registration fee is $275. On September 19, the conference registration rate will increase to $350. For more information or to register for the conference, go to

The new School Wellness Conference room rate is $110 single/double, $130 triple, $150 quad plus applicable taxes. Call Marriott reservations directly at (800) 228-9290. Reference the School Wellness Conference to receive this special rate.

Join us on October 5 for the pre-conference event, Finding common ground: Collaborating to prevent childhood obesity which will explore the foundations of collaboration among schools, cities and others. Specifically, it will address strategies for collaboration around nutrition, physical activity, joint-use of indoor and outdoor recreational facilities, as well as safe routes to school with four interactive sessions and group discussions that speak to overcoming key barriers to collaboration. Attendees will be given resources and materials, such as toolkits and resource guides, as well as sample guiding principles for collaboration, joint-use agreements, school board policies and a checklist for starting a collaborative.

The pre-conference session will be offered at no charge on a first come basis to those who register for the conference. To register for the School Wellness Conference and pre-conference, visit

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Get Live, Stay Live Was A Huge Success!

The first ever Get Live, Stay Live Health & Arts Showcase was a resounding success. Over 300 youth and their parents came down to the Bayview Opera House on Saturday, July 25th, to check out performances from DJ Truth, Bread Me Out Family, RoachGigz, Young Bari, San Quinn and many more local artists. Ten percent of the attendees were tested on-site, and 150 visited a clinic prior to the event to pick up an access card for free admission! Our host Marcus tore the house down with safer sex messages, while SFDPH’s YUTHE Team, BMagic, No More Funerals, 3rd Street Clinic, New Generations Health Clinic and other organizations helped hold it down.

Visit frequently for pictures and updates. We are beyond privileged and proud to have hosted an event like this for youth in the Bayview while collaborating with our partner organizations. A huge thank you to everyone that made Get Live, Stay Live possible! We can’t wait for the next Get Live, Stay Live event slated for October 2009! Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Shame shame - STD defamation website makes it personal

When a person gets diagnosed with an STD, its courtesy to contact current and former partners and let them know. This way they can take care of themselves too and everyone is happier. If it sounds scary there are systems in place to help you, like the STD division of your local public health department or These systems have been built with yours and your partners' privacy in mind.

So...I wasn't too happy this morning when I saw this article thud into my inbox. Put out by, the article titled "Web site lists people with STDs -- Whether they have them or not," made me super grumpy. The site professes to be an international list of people with STDs. And anyone can post an addition to the site, regardless of truth. And yes, there is a list of names, complete with city, state, age and gender.

But, slow down a second. What if it is true? Isn't that person owed the same courtesy they just showed their partner by telling them in confidence? Don't we want to be reinforcing the habit of privately sharing this information with those who need to know because their health depends on it? Can't the response simply be, "Thank you for telling me. I'll get tested."

So what can we do here? Public humiliation is obviously going to dig us deeper in the wrong direction.

1. If you are sexually active make testing regularly part of your routine. Go with a friend if that helps. Get online and tap into the database that includes both STD and HIV testing resources nationally. In San Francisco, provides a private, cheap way to test, with results securely accessed online by a unique identifier.

2. Share your results with your partner(s) and inquire about theirs. Build trust and sleep easier. Need help figuring out what to say? That's normal. Here's a guide.

3. Learn about the STDs and how they are transmitted, treated and prevented. has easily digestible information as does SF City Clinic.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Global Youth Demand Action

Where were you 15 years ago? Maybe you were already working or looking for work, maybe you were in college or grade school, maybe you weren't even born yet.

But officials from 179 countries got together in Cairo, Egypt, in the fall of 1994 and promised to change the world in 20 years. The result of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) was a ambitious plan that would, among other benefits, give universal access to services and information to improve the sexual and reproductive health of everyone by 2015.

Fast forward to today, with just over five years to go, and we have a lot of work to do.

Using technology that was just a glimmer in some developers' eyes 15 years ago, young people around the world are taking their sexual health and their future in their own hands. Earlier this month, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) launched the 15andCounting campaign on social networking platforms MXit, Facebook and Twitter - urging young people around the world to call their governments to task and demand action.

According to the campaign, "too many governments have failed to make good on their promises. This failure puts the lives and health of tens-of-millions of young people at risk." To put this in context, those born in 1994 form part of the largest group of young people the world has ever seen – some 1.5 billion. With these numbers, as I'm sure we all know, their health and wellbeing affects all of us.

Toward this end, the campaign offers a petition that will be presented to the United Nations to demand governments act now to "fulfill their promise to provide better access to sexual and reproductive health services for all young people."

More than 25,000 people from around the world have signed it so far, mostly young people. The campaign has a goal of "hundreds of thousands of signatures representing every country on the planet."

From their website: "We are asking all governments around the world to prioritise [sic] young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, including comprehensive sex education and information and youth friendly health services."

For more information, check out these links:

Join 15andcounting on Facebook
Follow 15andcounting on Twitter

Friday, May 15, 2009

Job Open at ISIS

Hey folks, ISIS is looking for a Director of Finance and Administration. See job description below. If you're qualified, we'd love to have you on board.

The Director of Finance and Administration will oversee all administrative and grant-related functions in the Organization. This position is located in downtown Oakland and reports directly to the Executive Director. ISIS offers a casual and pleasant work environment and generous benefits.

Responsibilities Include:

· Creating and managing short- and long-term budgets; financial planning, annual projected budgets and generating budget reports

· Preparing financial reports and working with accountant on taxes and audits

· Working with Executive Director to develop organization-wide policies, procedures and systems

  • Working with Executive Director to set long-term strategic goals and align development efforts with overall goals; supporting Executive Director in all financial efforts, including grants, contracts, and donations.

· Work with Board of Directors on budget and strategic planning projects

· Managing development; overseeing work in grants, contracts and donations

· Ensuring compliance with all aspects, including reporting and invoicing requirements, of grants/contracts. Keeping current on changes to reporting requirements of all funding sources.

· Supervising human resources and finance

· Working with bookkeeper to ensure that invoices are completed accurately and on time and to correctly align income and expenses with the appropriate funding sources.

· Managing payroll and employee benefits, including 403(b)

· Identifying and working with vendors responsible for office equipment and supplies, IT, phones, etc. Negotiating contracts with vendors.

· Managing relationships with all office-related vendors including the landlord and office supply companies.

· Maintaining office supply inventory.

Qualifications and Requirements Include:

  • 10+ years of senior level administration, finance, grant, and program management experience
  • Bachelor's Degree in finance, business or non-profit administration, MBA preferred
  • Solid short- and long-term budget planning experience
  • Strong strategic thinking and planning skills
  • Solid leadership and staff and vendor management experience
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Outstanding organizational skills
  • Strong time- and project-management skills. Must be able to meet multiple deadlines with strict and tight timetables.
  • Ability to work both independently and with limited supervision.
  • Flexible and hard-working
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Excellent communication skills, including strong business writing skills.
  • Outstanding computer skills, including Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and donor database systems.
  • Comfortable with sexual health content.

Please submit your resume and cover letter with compensation requirements to:

No phone calls, faxes, or in-person applications please.

Local candidates only.

ISIS-Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.

Friday, April 17, 2009

<3 Sex::Tech Doodles

Lloyd Dangle, the illustrator behind the packaging for Airborne and the San Francisco Bay Guardian weekly comic strip Troubletown, rocked Sex::Tech with caricatures and artistic interpretations of our speakers and their sessions.


We suggest you watch the video of the sessions here, then compare our speakers' likenesses to the doodles here. And and and, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and that Sex::Tech presentations are available to download!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sex::Tech 2009 Media Buffet

Sex::Tech 2009 was beyond superfragilisticexpiali- awesome! Really, it was and we have the video and photos to prove it. Head over to ISIS’ YouTube Channel and Flickr to get a taste of Buckworld One’s edgy, high energy performance.

You can also see what Dean Eckles from Nokia Research Innovate Design Experience Animate (IDEA) Team and Kevin Bertram of Distributive Networks said during the 2nd day keynote!

The presentations of our Sex::Tech attendees are also available for download here. We hope you enjoy all these tasty media morsels and REALLY hope you’ll come out for the next Sex::Tech! Don’t forget to add us on Twitter!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sex::Tech 2009 was a roarin' success

Hello y'all!

We rocked the JW Marriott for two full days (Sunday/Monday, March 22nd/23rd) with the Sex::Tech 2009 Focus on Youth conference.

More than 400 attendees enjoyed an array of speakers from Rutgers, NYU, University of Colorado, UCLA, and that was just the researchers!

The "un-conference" was a huge success -- with about 15 different folks signing up to host informal one-hour discussions with their peers on the spot!

And talk about an opening plenary! BuckWorld One took it to a whole new level -- the street-cred dancers from Riverside County brought the attendees to their feet. The passion and professionalism they showed in their dance -- which spoke on themes of racism, misogyny, street violence, oppression and a lot of other social ills -- were really amazing. The crew left everyone invigorated for the rest of the conference.

You can check out Sex::Tech (click) for a sampling of what we all experienced and what you should make sure you get a chance to experience next year.


Friday, March 20, 2009

YPulse at SXSW - getting the lo-down on teen webbing

Hello y'all,

Well, we're at the eve of Sex::Tech 2009 and all I can say is wow! Kickin' off this Sunday, March 22nd at the J.W. Marriott in San Francisco, California we here at ISIS are truly ready to rock the house! For those of you who want to show up prepared, I offer you this bit of blog to enhance and enrich your Sex::Tech 2009 experience.

Our friends at YPulse, namely Anastasia, headed out to the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas last week to host a roundtable on "What Teens Want in a Website", and wrote about feedback from youth panelists. The youth talked about a bunch of topics, including the age old battle - MySpace versus Facebook, MS being for the "urban youth" and FB catering to "suburban youth". Turns out that neither of these social networking sites are all that "hot" right now, and that the youth have moved on to other, more relevant ways to social network via technology.

Which brought up the conversation about moving away from the computer screen and handlin' teen biz via texting, which has truly surpassed any of the social messaging networks. Teens get a phone, and wham-bam-thank you ma'am (ol' skool talk), it's On!! And these teens still text more than talk, remember talking??, which allows more privacy than MS/FB.

The panel also discussed brand sites, video, twitter, the whole mix of what y'all teens get yourselves involved in nowadays, when you have the spare time. It seems that all of these topics were of interest, but none of them really dominated the teen panel's time.

Overall, the article points out a few really good facts, based on the teen panel that is........teens are more interested in mobility than sitting in front of a computer screen. As far as being "techies" teens are workin' the text thing like mad, new tech is not something that these teens had a real passionate desire to explore.

Read all about it so that when you are sitting in the Sex::Tech workshops you'll be right on top of the dialogue and possibly add some of your own!

Enjoy the show and we all look forward to seeing you on Sunday.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Golden Gate Express Turning Up the Heat on Sex::Tech

Hello all,

The SEX::TECH 2009 conference is ON! And we've got none other than our good friends at San Francisco State University, Golden Gate Xpress newspaper writin' us up!

Check out this awesome interview with none other than ISIS' Youth Outreach & Marketing Coordinator, Margaret Lucas (and SFSU alum), keepin' it real about what to look for at the Conference. Definitely check out the article to see how youth and technology are shaping everything from health outreach strategies, to political campaigns!

We know you've heard tons about it and are excited to participate - so make sure you get down to the JW Marriott Hotel, 500 Post St., San Francisco (near Union Square) and make it happen!

We got straight from the inland empire, BuckWorld, rockin and krumpin' to open the show. It's gonna be off the chizzain!

Blessings for a beautiful weekend......

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sex::Tech 2009 Focus on Youth is making noise

Happy Friday, y'all! We're in full "conference" mode over here at ISIS, getting ready for our second annual Sex::Tech 2009 Focus on Youth shindig....and we're not the only ones. Found this great little blog, A Day in the Life, that is also is singing Sex::Tech praises. Seems as though lots of students were unsure if they could make it to the conference since it fell on a weekday, but the good news is that Spring Break begins during the same time so it works out perfectly.

Sex::Tech 2009 schedule has been finalized, and it is smokin'! Conference news is being blogged so you keep track of all the latest, last-minute updates and announcements. Sex::Tech 2009 is the only conference of its kind that provides a forum where technology folk, sexual health professionals and youth (ages 14-24) can come together to talk about how technology can be used to promote positive sexual health practices to youth.

We are going to have an amazing host of presenters, including Kevin Bertram, CEO, Distributive Networks, the folks behind Obama's text campaign. Kevin will be sharing his insight on how youth can mobilize their effort to create change - change we can believe in.

So make sure you check out the website to Register for the only conference of its kind, Sex::Tech 2009. Sex::Tech 2009 is being held the 22nd and 23rd of March at the Marriott Hotel, Post Street, San Francisco, California. Tell a friend, and we'll see you downtown.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Do Teen Sexuality + Adult Anxiety + Digital Technology = Public Trouble?

I had two lovely plesaures this week - one was to spend some time surfing the website, The Midwest Teen Sex Show (MTSS), which labels itself as a "video show about teen sexuality" and the second was my telephone conversation with Dr. Marty Klein, a noted Marriage Counselor and Sex Therapist.

What do the two have in common - well, for one, MTSS has a tremendous amount of informative sexual content that teens can understand. MTSS website and videos promote healthy sexual dialogue and de-mystify the taboos that surround teen sex. The legal limitations applied to sexual health education by school districts, local jurisdictions, religious institutions (you get the picture) are what make it so hard for teens to learn ANYTHING or even ASK questions about their sexuality and how it all works. MTSS is the perfect outlet for those teens who "wonder why...."

So, how does Dr. Marty Klein fit in to all of this? you ask! Good question.......Dr. Klein is one of the few experts in the field of teen sexual rights and the dangers that teens might be facing for "exercising" behavior that might end up haunting them for the rest of their lives.

An article in Slate Magazine, entitled "Textual Misconduct: What to do about teens and their dumb naked photos of themselves" has some astounding implications about teen rights (or lack thereof). The article details the fact that if you are under 18, it is illegal to send naked photos of yourself to anyone, and in this case, the sender, a young teenage girl, was prosecuted as a sex offender and will now have to register as such FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE!

Dr. Klein is a featured speaker at the ISIS, Inc. Sex::Tech 2009 conference, being held March 22-23rd, in San Francisco, California. I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to him a bit about his presentation, and the predicament teens might find themselves in if they "text" nude photos of themselves to others. I asked Dr. Klein if teen's rights being reviewed by the present Administration? He answered that charges being leveled on teens are not federal; they are state, local or jurisdictional. The laws vary from state to state and it is up to the individual prosecutors as to if or how a teen is charged. The bottom line is "as far as discomfort with teen sexuality, every single American lives in a Red state" (meaning that red states are Bush lovers and Blue states are well, you know!)

Another question I asked was if he thought teens rights were being constricted, and if so, why? Dr. Klein said that historically, whenever any type of new technology was introduced to mainstream two things happen:

1) technology is adapted for sexual use (think television; publishing i.e. comic books, magazines; radio; internet)
2) adults get anxious about how teen's use said technology.

He went on to say that new technology creates "cultural panic" from religious institutions, mass media and parents. In short, until these groups understand the new technology, teens are less likely to have any rights.

Are teens aware of their rights?

Dr. Klein noted that when he was featured on the television show 20/20 in a segment called "Age of Consent", that an overwhelming majority of teens HAD NO IDEA of what the age of consent was for their State. And, he pointed out, in some cases, where the state line is accessible within minutes, there is a huge possibility that a law can be broken (or avoided) just by crossing the State line. "There are an awful lot of young people who don't realize that nude photos (sexual) of a minor can be perceived as child pornography".

Is advocacy for change happening?

Dr. Klein states that conferences like Sex::Tech 2009 open up forums for access, control, information regarding sexuality that can easily be filtered out of the Internet by local jurisdictions, including school districts.

So, as you can read, lots and lots of very important, life changing, permanent implications in the most innocent of teen behavior, that most teens don't know about but could impact their lives (and friends, families, communities) if.........


Friday, February 20, 2009

Scarleteen spins a web of great sex info

Where have I been!! SCARLETEEN has been operating since 1998 and I'm just getting 'round to checking out their site.

And what a site it is - there's got to be information on anything and everything I have EVER wanted to know about, sexually and otherwise (which means to you, the reader, all the "curious" questions I've been too shy to ask anyone!!).

Here's a bit of what SCARLETEEN has to offer:

So you know you're gonna be spending a lot of time browsing this site!!

And they are not funded by any large organization nor do they receive public funding, and to boot they don't ever run any advertising.

SO, CHECK THIS - THEY NEED $$$$$$ - and for a very short time (through the middle of March 2009) your donation will be matched up to $3k. Believe me, after spending the morning going through the amazing amount of information - which, by the way, is provided by sexual health experts from all over the country, it would be an injustice not to send them a donation, small, medium, or large - whatever floats your boat!


Friday, February 13, 2009


I truly am amazed at some of the inane uses of technology that have bombarded our lives. The latest and greatest of these is the good ol' bitch-o-meter, also sweetly known as PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome).

Now fellas, don't get me wrong, I, like anyone other woman, would love to be able to control my "f'ed up" mood swings during "that time of the month" but to have my iPhone keep tabs on me is just way too much information.

So on this Friday, the 13th and Valentine's Eve (sort of an oxymoron if you ask me), I offer you PMSBUDDY the newest roar of the crowd website that not only let's you know that you're ready to becoming a raving lunatic or depressing pain-in-the-ass, but also gives you "tips" on how to handle all those extra hormones! Now granted, for the partners of the aforementioned "lunatics" a quick mail message saying "bring chocolate" or "don't make any fat jokes" could be just the cure.........

Oh, and the big whomp is that PMSBuddy is now also available as an iPhone App for all of you movers and shakers - and no, we don't mean throttling someone by the neck 'cuz they whistled at ya!

So there you have it - and if this blog seems mean and pointy - well damn it, check my Facebook link and you'll know that I'll be howling at the moon in a few short days!


Friday, February 6, 2009

BRAVO is at it again! Earn up to $250

The folks at BRAVO are introducing their latest Study on Women's Reproductive Health - specifically aimed at women between the ages of 18 and 25.

The BRAVO Study has been ongoing for quite some time now - the focus is to discover new ways to fight a very common STD - bacterial vaginosis (BV), one of the most common vaginal diseases contracted by women (1 in 10 women nationally have BV but may not know it).

The BRAVO Study ask the question: Do patients with BV stand a better chance of NOT contracting any other STD's, specifically chlamydia and gonnorhea when under a doctor's care?

This study and those that have preceeded it are always done with the complete oversight of medical professionals and clinicians.


What will I be asked to do?

As a participant in the BRAVO study, you will be asked to:
Participate in ONE clinic visit (This visit should last approximately 45 minutes)
After the first visit, you can participate in the rest of the study from home (ever other month for a year).
You will be mailed a kit to complete six home tests (these follow-up tests should take you approximately 15 Minutes).

How long will the study last?
Your participation in this study will last up to one year.

Who is eligible?

Women between the age of 18-25 years old

NOT Pregnant.

Currently sexually active.

NOT living with your husband or main partner for over one year.

Willing to be screened for BV (To be eligible you must have asymptomatic BV).

NOT currently on your menstrual period (this only applies at your first visit).

If you are eligible and join the study you will:
Have the opportunity to have regular testing for certain sexually transmitted infections for one year at not cost to you, from the privacy of your own home.

Be paid for your time and effort.

If you are interested in the study and would like to schedule an appointment, Please contact Nikole @ 415-525-7718 or

Thank you for your help!!! This is your chance to make a difference in your community.

Screening performed at 356 7th st. San Francisco CA 94103

Help yourself, help others and get paid!! The results of the study will help public and private health officials continue the battle against dangerous STD's and provide awareness to our young women.


Friday, January 30, 2009


Blessings All!

It is bittersweet that I write this blog to remind you and myself of the ongoing crisis affecting the black community.......the unprecedented numbers of brothers and sisters in the community being diagnosed as HIV+. Saturday, February 7th marks the 9th Annual National Black AIDS/HIV Awareness Day being organized throughout the country.

The mission of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) is to build the capacity and increase awareness, participation and support for HIV prevention, care and treatment among Black Americans. February 7, 2009 marks the ninth year of this annual event.

The primary goal of NBHAAD is to motivate African Americans to get tested and know their HIV status; get educated about the transmission modes of HIV/AIDS; get involved in their local community; and get treated if they are currently living with HIV or are newly diagnosed.

The website allows a user to register their local effort on the national site and gives tips on how to create awareness and empower the community to come together over this devastating virus. Once you have registered you can order supplies that will help create a successful local community event.

When we look at HIV/AIDS by race and ethnicity, we see that Black Americans have more illness (even though blacks account for about 13% of the U.S. population, we account for about half (49%) of the people who get HIV and AIDS), shorter survival times (Blacks with AIDS often don’t live as long as people of other races and ethnic groups with AIDS), and more deaths (for Black Americans and other blacks, HIV/AIDS is a leading cause of death). This is our year for change! Let’s mobilize and do something that will be long-lasting in the fight against HIV/AIDS!

Sign up today and make a difference in your community - the devastation has to stop - we have to empower ourselves to make a change - to learn how to protect ourselves, our brothers, our sisters, our daughters and sons........get involved, our future is at stake.


Friday, January 23, 2009

U.S. abortion funding restrictions lifted by President Obama

Welcome to the era of change we can believe in. In a remarkably unceremonious fashion, President Barack Obama (this is my first time writing his name, feels good on my fingertips!) has lifted a ban imposed by the Bush Administration that restricted funding to any international agency that promoted abortion or safe sex education.

Former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, repealed the policy when he took office in 1993 and George W Bush reinstated it in 2001.

Since then it has reduced international funding for the International Planned Parenthood Association by close to $100 million dollars.

I truly think that the progression and stimulation President Obama has brought to the Washington is going to have a profound effect on how the world views the United States. Already there are pundits lying in wait to watch Obama's policies fail - and yet, I, we, the people who elected him (at least I voted for him!) stand in awe at how swiftly and markedly he has moved into his place in history.

I applaud President Obama's shift in policy and his efficiency in making the change I can believe in more than just a slogan, but a rallying cry!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009 brings you to the Here and Now

We love one-stop shops – especially ones for your mobile device. Nokia brings us 'Here and Now', an add-on to's web portal. This app attempts to put every aspect of lifestyle content aimed at 18 to 35 year olds right at their fingertips.

Through's "Here and Now" users can access:
* Mobile internet
* News
* Music
* Daily gossip fix
* Download Market Place
* Nokia's latest products

Great concept if the functionality is there, especially since it integrates content from already popular publishers like Reuters and Rolling Stone. "Here and Now" is meant to encourage users to spend more time on, which comes bookmarked on all Nokia phones (but is accessible from any mobile device). This is an advertiser's wet dream app, as it allows interactive marketing to a specific demographic of the 3.3 billion mobile users; We at ISIS see the potential to harness this for sexual health.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Free Quick Picks - and no, I'm not talking the lottery!

Hello y'all,

It's another Friday and you know what that means, at least here in Cali - the weekly lottery begins tonight and ends tomorrow. Well, the Center for Disease Control National Prevention Information Network (NPIN) has caught on to the "quick pick" phenom and is offering FREE materials of NPIN brochures, fact sheets, posters, and other materials about HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, STDs, and TB.

The cool thing about the "quick picks" is that they are broken out into each of these four categories that deal specifically with topics specific to: African American, Hispanic/Latino, MSM's, Women.

Each link reveals a list of brochures, articles, videos, publications, etc. that can be downloaded for free. The breakout is specific to the demographic and allows the user to get the latest information currently being distributed by the CDC.

If you are looking for materials to teach workshops, or are interested in what the latest research results are saying, this is the easiest and least expensive way to get your hands on top-notch, government approved information. All you do is open the link that you are interested in, click on the pamphlet or material you would like to receive, fill out the order form and submit. The materials will be sent to you free of charge within two to four weeks. The other caveat is that you can order up to 10 items, with multiple items counting towards the total.

I highly recommend taking a look at this site - the information is priceless, literally!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

FINALLY! Technology-based Prevention Strategies Hit the Mainstream!

"'It's safe to say that some of the [current STD/HIV] prevention efforts are not working. New, innovative methods will be required to get through to this generation of young people, for whom text messaging and the Internet are integral parts of daily life,' says Dr. Yolanda Wimberly, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at the Morehouse School of Medicine and the medical director for the Center for Excellence in Sexual Health."

Oh, Yolanda, ISIS <3 U. According to the new "Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2007" report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, STD transmission rates are on the rise – particularly among women and minorities, between 15 to 24 years old.

FINALLY! The mainstream media, doctors, health educators and even the government have discovered what we at ISIS have known for about seven years now: Technology, particularly internet-based and text messaging, is an incredibly effective way of making sexual health information easy and nearly free to access for everyone.

Our peer STD partner notification website, inSpot has been replicated in 10 states, 11 cities and is quickly growing. SexINFO, our sexual health text messaging program has been replicated in Washington D.C. as part of the RealTalk Campaign and is definitely the service to watch. Both of these services break down the barriers that prevent open, honest communication around sexual health and fill the information void.

Surely this article has piqued your interest in technology-based STD prevention methods, so you’ll definitely want to check out the Sex::Tech Conference Focus On Youth, where innovators in technology, past, present and future and sexual health badasses converge to show us all the goods they’ve been cooking up to facilitate dialogue and prevent disease transmission. The Sex::Tech Conference is the only place that you’ll be able to see many of these emerging sexual health innovations and talk to their makers. There might (definitely!) be some ideas or partnerships for you to take back to your organization and implement in the future!

Friday, January 9, 2009

"The Young and The Restless STD's"- cel-phone soaps highlight prevention

A new study out of Rutger's University (New Jersey) School of Nursing has combined the oh-so-addicitive soap-opera saga with STD prevention and awareness messages.

"Text Message Soap Operas" have been created - 12 in all - to uncover how women in the study will react (and change their behavior?) after watching the 20-minute episodes on their cell phones. Their risk-reduction behavior will be measured against a control group that will receive text messages urging condom use, but no video. A total of 250 women will participate.

The creator of these "soaps", Nurse educator Rachel Jones, found that more and more young women - bright, educated and single - were showing up in her office infected with an STD's, or pregnant. When asked why they did not promote condom use with their sexual partners, most of the young women responded that their partners viewed condoms as a "sign of distrust" - even though the women were aware that their men were creepin' on them.

The addition of a visual component, another young female that the women can relate to and get emotionally involved with, will hopefully lead to them changing their behaviors as well.

The rampant rise of STD's, including HIV, among young people of color, especially young women, is overwhelming. In a country that should be able to address such an outbreak, and with young women who know the risks of unprotected sex - this should be a no-brainer. But that, sadly, is not the case.

I know that a good "soap", where I can get involved in someone else's mess, oftentimes gives me a chance to see how crazy lives can get.......the ideal behind these soap messages is the same for the women viewing them....and will give them some motivation to take pause and look inward.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Greetings on this first day of 2009 - wow, we've gone through a lot
over the last 12 months, I truly am looking forward to all this new
year has to offer.

To that end I offer you AMPLIFY. Brought to you by the folks at Advocates for Youth, AMPLIFY is their newest foray giving voice to youth on current issues. The power to create CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN is already evident with our President-elect. This new online community is aimed at motivating youth to take a stand, get involved, make a difference. Links such as ACT, IN THE CULTURE, ISSUES, and CAMPAIGNS, run the gamut from pop culture and media to creating your own grassroots campaign.

For instance, the IN THE CULTURE blogs are written by youth for youth.
The blogging is witty and sexy (try doing that while making a point)
and above all, informative. The writing didn't jump me, it actually
gave me a different point of view to consider, which in my case is
hard to do.

Overall, there are maybe too many links and issues, it can almost be
so overwhelming you don't know where to start.......kinda like being
in the ice-cream store with 31 flavors looking dead atcha and not
knowing what to choose. So I say, be daring, sample each, and I am
positive you will find something you'll like, and heck, it's sugar