The primary method used by the program will be an advertising campaign that addresses the need for behavioral change by the delivery of a personal message to the target audience, which has been shown to be highly effective in other areas (Singh, 2010). It will also encourage HIV testing and informed status among sexual partners. It will discourage the sharing of needles among IV drug users. The program will use community resources to target the general population. The success of these initiatives will be measured by the number of cases of new HIV patients by healthcare facilities.
Measurable results will be obtained through tracking of new HIV positive cases. It will not consider those that already have HIV, only the number of new cases reported to the Washington County Health Department by the various required reporting agencies in the area. The success of the program will be measured on an annual basis. The cost of tracking will not be expected to incur any additional budgetary expense, as they are tracked by a public service agency as a part of their normal monitoring procedures.
Within one year, the program will be successful if the rise in new HIV cases is reduced by 1% as compared to the previous year. Considering that the HIV rates have been steadily rising in the area, over the past several years. It is expected that the program will result in a 1% decrease in new HIV cases each year of operation. This is a lofty goal, but the eventual goal, although unrealistic at this point in time, is no new cases. Even if the program resorts in less than the stated goal, it still will have had the effect of saving lives.
One of the key obstacles that may be present in the ability to isolate the results of the program is the presence of other initiatives in the area. These will have to be monitored and taken into account in the reporting of the annual review of the program. The evaluation will take into account any national level programs that may have an effect as well. It is expected that a drop in HIV will only occur after a certain lag time. People have to see the message numerous times in order for it to sink in and result in behavioral change. It is recognized that controlling the spread of HIV will take a greater effort than is currently being undertaken (General Assembly, 2009). However, it is expected that after one year, a drop in HIV rates in the Tacoma Park metro area would be experienced.
It is expected that the projected budget will be fairly accurate and reflects the real costs involved. The budget was derived through research of typically rents and utility costs for the size facility that is estimated to be needed. It may vary based on the costs associated with media coverage, particularly television ads. The campaign will be delivered via radio using free public service announcements. It is expected that some expense will be incurred in the printing of posters and materials for the church and school presentations. These costs are expected to be variable, but it is expected that the proposed budget is relatively close to the real costs. These numbers were obtained by calling companies and getting estimates of costs for the project.
The Tacoma Park HIV Task Force will be the most comprehensive program aimed at reducing the number of new HIV cases in the Tacoma Park metro area. It will serve as an example for the development of other similar programs around the nation. It is based on knowledge gained through successful programs on a global basis and uses the most relevant academic research available on the topic. Through the years, we have discovered what works and what does not work in changing behaviors surrounding HIV. This program is expected to have a high success rate in reducing the number of new cases of HIV in the Tacoma Park metro area.
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