Programming Connection

Play Your Cards Right: Bringing sexual health to your fingertips 

AIDS Committee of Durham Region
Durham Region, ON
2017

The AIDS Committee of Durham Region’s (ACDR) Youth Advisory Committee has created a deck of cards to teach youth aged 15-29 about HIV and safer sex. This game is part of an awareness, prevention and testing campaign called #PlayYourCardsRight launched in October 2016. Consultations with youth and other organizations that adhere to GIPA and MIPA principles revealed that young people want an educational tool that is both easy to understand and fun.

Play Your Cards Right informs people about HIV testing and transmission and encourages the use of condoms to protect against HIV and STIs. Each card in the deck has its own message, and uses accessible language and inclusive imagery. The cards come with an information sheet that lists testing sites as well as agencies that provide sexual health information in the Durham Region. The goal is to empower youth with knowledge so they make safer choices. “We wanted a campaign that asserts the message that your health is your responsibility,” says Kezia Amoako, Youth Outreach Coordinator at ACDR. “The cards are a way for people to have difficult conversations, to break the ice around HIV,” explains Kezia. The cards introduce HIV to youth, making it easier to talk about and removing some of the stigma associated with it.

The cards have proven to be popular in school settings, with AIDS service organizations and with street-involved and incarcerated youth, not just in the Durham Region but also in Toronto and Ottawa. ACDR has distributed 400 decks of cards in the last couple of months and plans on expanding distribution to clinics.

For more information about this campaign, contact the Youth Outreach Coordinator or call 905-576-1445.