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