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'There's A Critical Need': New Video Series Teaches Middle, High School Students How To Prevent HIV/AIDS

Wise Bodies screenshot Aids healthcare foundation MODS video series.png
Screenshot from "Wise Bodies" video series
A science experiment using a water balloon and ping pong balls offers a visual illustration of what happens when HIV invades the body. The demonstration is part of a 12-part video series designed to teach middle and high schoolers about HIV/AIDS.

The 12-part series is being used in Broward County Public Schools, and its creators are hoping to also bring it to Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

A man balances a large balloon filled with water and ping pong balls on the ledge of a second-floor outdoor walkway. Then, he pushes it off.

When it hits the concrete below, the balloon breaks, and the ping pong balls bounce away in every direction.

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It’s a visual illustration of what happens when HIV accumulates in white blood cells. Eventually, the cells burst, and the virus spreads throughout the body. Proper treatment can control the spread, stopping HIV from developing into the more serious disease, AIDS.

The science experiment is featured in a new 12-part video series called “Wise Bodies,” designed to teach middle and high school students how to protect themselves against HIV/AIDS.

Typically, HIV/AIDS prevention is part of face-to-face science and health classes. But with most students in Broward County Public Schools still learning from home, because of COVID-19, the new series offers these important lessons to students virtually.

The Broward district is already using the series, which was created through a partnership with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale. Its creators hope to also expand the program to Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

“There's a critical need. South Florida has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the country,” said Joe Cox, president and CEO of the museum. “It's part of our role as a science museum to bring great science education content to the community.”

Ebonni Chrispin, legislative affairs and community engagement manager for the foundation, said the video series also introduces students to the idea of a career in public health.

“We want kids to understand this is an incredible industry to get into,” Chrispin said, "and be of service to a greater good."