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The AIDS prevention magic show: avoiding the tragic with magic.
  • Published Date:
    1994 Mar-Apr
  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 109(2):162-167
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-1.02 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
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  • Description:
    Teenagers are a crucial target group for interventions concerning acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Experimenting with their burgeoning sexuality and increased ability to obtain drugs, they are prime candidates for AIDS prevention and education strategies. The intervention described in this paper is a 30-minute magic show, presented by Cyrus (or Iris) the Virus, a sinister but entertaining character portrayed by any health educator willing to spend a few hours learning the magic tricks. The tricks explain why sharing needles and choosing sexual partners based on appearance alone can result in AIDS. Cyrus also uses magic to communicate the ways that AIDS is not transmitted, how to refuse sex, and how to use condoms correctly. The show, as well as increasing the audience's knowledge about HIV, attempts to induce behavioral change by increasing participants' perceived self-efficacy--a predictor of healthful behavior. Still in its pilot phase, the show has been seen by 281 students ages 10-15 years. Viewers rate the show highly, and preliminary analysis suggests that perceived self-efficacy has been significantly improved.

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