Program PurposeRoots of Risk is a community level HIV prevention campaign that uses a mix of evidence-informed approaches to provide information and support to Black youth living in Toronto. The Roots of Risk project uses a combination of the POL (popular opinion leader) model, creative social marketing methods, and youth engagement opportunities to deliver prevention education programming to straight, gay, bi, lesbian and trans Black youth at heightened risk for HIV. The Roots of Risk project leverages the social networks of youth in Toronto and uses personal and social relationships to transfer important information related to risk reduction. The project is also focused on the promotion of two previously developed HIV prevention campaigns through popular media.
- To increase access to sexual health information for Black youth at heightened risk of HIV infection – build knowledge and increase recognition of risk, stigma reduction and prevention
- To engage youth in knowledge transfer activities and empower youth to play an active role in reducing growing rates of HIV/AIDS & STIs
- To leverage the social networks of youth in Toronto to disseminate information
- To promote 2 related HIV prevention campaigns using popular media
- Increase leadership opportunities in high poverty neighbourhoods in Toronto for at-risk youth
Through the Roots of Risk project:
- Works with 50 youth to act as popular opinion leaders (POLs) in their communities and provides youth with the means to distribute resources and information through the technologies they use to communicate with their peers (cell phone, text messages, email, IM, facebook, myspace, etc.)
- Distributes weekly sexual health and relationship messages to thousands of youth in Toronto which reduces their risk for HIV, create traffic to two of Black CAP’s websites for youth (onenightyourchoice.com and getthelowdown.ca), answer questions their peers have about HIV and sexual health in person and over the phone, distribute condoms, and promote HIV testing sites in their local communities.
- Promote the Think! and OneNightYourChoice campaigns in a range of media – including TTC, print ads, a youth Zone and at other events
If you would like to become involved in this project please contact Kelisha Peart, Roots of Risk Coordinator at 416-660-7325 or email her at