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Rhodes Authors 2008 Sarah Mazelis Paper of the Year

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Scott D. Rhodes, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor in the division of public health sciences at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, has been awarded the 2008 Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) Sarah Mazelis Paper of the Year Award.

Rhodes was honored for his paper “Visions and Voices: Indigent Persons Living with HIV in the Southern U.S. Use Photovoice to Create Knowledge, Develop Partnerships and Take Action.” The paper was co-authored by Kenneth C. Hergenrather, Ph.D., M.S.Ed., of George Washington University, Aimee M. Wilkin, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of internal medicine, section on infectious diseases at the School of Medicine, and Christine Jolly, president of AIDS Care Service in Winston-Salem.

Funding for the paper was provided by the School of Medicine Venture Funds. According to Rhodes, the primary objectives for the paper were to collect, analyze and interpret formative data to understand and characterize the experiences of people living with HIV/AIDS within the local community and to create positive change through empowerment and community mobilization.

The SOPHE recognizes a paper each year that is published in Health Promotion Practice, a premier journal that serves to advance the practice of health education and health promotion programs, policy or professional preparation. It is named after Sarah Mazelis, a health educator and SOPHE member, who is renowned for her dedication to improving health education practice.

“This award was truly an honor for our team to receive,” said Rhodes. “I am also honored by the participants in our research living with HIV and AIDS who shared personal aspects of their lives with us.”

New research done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported that the HIV/AIDS epidemic has grown to include more than one million Americans, with 24 to 27 percent of those being unaware of their HIV infection.

“The epidemic is worse than we thought right here in the Southeast and unfortunately we are still very much lacking in our prevention arsenal,” said Rhodes. “The research outlined in this paper attempts to make a dent in the epidemic, no matter how small.”

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