A Cross-Cultural Comparison of HIV/AIDS Awareness and Prevention in Kenya and the United States: How can we encourage HIV prevention and testing on college campus?
By JC Silverman, John Ochieng, Zifan Li, Sunny Singh, Clara-Christina Gerstner, John Gonzales
HIV/AIDS remains a challenge for many countries worldwide, both developed and developing nations alike. In our literature review, we have focused on the United States and Kenya as our prototypical examples of a developed and a developing nation, respectively, that struggle with combating HIV/AIDS. Though dealing with two different countries in two different contexts, we sought to not only elucidate the differences, but also the commonalities between the United States and Kenya. Our four points of focus were the following: medical prevention, physical treatment, social stigma, and education. The purpose of conducting the literature review was to examine and evaluate existing strategies in order to develop our own strategies that we could potentially implement (that would be effective as a result of becoming better informed from the advantages and disadvantages of pre-existing strategies) to help fight the spread of HIV/AIDS. As a result, we organized an educational event on the University of Michigan campus to highlight HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Since education and testing is crucial in preventing new HIV infections, we believed that hosting an educational seminar would be the most feasible, effective research/action project we could perform. We anticipated having a large, lecture-style event with a Q&A section given by our guest speakers Elizabeth Mosley and Laura McAndrew. There was also an opportunity to sign up for more information on getting tested, as well as free condoms. The actual turnout at the event was relatively low with 15 individuals in attendance. The feel therefore became more of a dialogue than lecture-style with much audience participation. The content of the discussion included: HIV/AIDS basics, the stigma of the disease, and prevention topics and resources located within the community. Though the attendance was lower than previously expected, the dialogue went very well as the lively discussion involved all players and was mutually beneficial. Students were more