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 OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 24 ~PRNewswire~ -- World AIDS Day will find troupes of young actors fanning out in a half-dozen American cities performing 'Secrets,' a 60-minute play for high school students that delivers a powerful AIDS awareness message. They will teach abstinence from sex as a positive choice, but will also demonstrate use of a condom on a banana as a way to promote safer sex. Since its inception in 1989, 'Secrets' has delivered these and other important messages to more than 1.2 million students and 70,000 teachers in 1,500 schools.
 Using a multi-ethnic cast and original music, 'Secrets' dramatizes how the AIDS virus is and is not transmitted. Based on true stories of people with AIDS, the play revolves around a character named Eddie, a teenager who has "shared a needle a couple of times." His girlfriend, his father and a chain of people unknown to him, all figure into his journey from infection with HIV to living with the knowledge of a positive result. The five characters are role models of positive decision-making skills, abstinence, resisting peer pressure, discussing condom use with a partner and parent-teen communication.
 To create the program, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, the nation's largest private healthcare delivery system, hired professional writers, theatrical producers and educational consultants who understand the needs, language, music and idioms of teens.
 "The result is a play so universal in language that it has worked equally well in rural towns and ghettos," explains Regina Dwerlkotte, director of the program in Northern California, who adds: "Students, teachers, principals and parents are all spell-bound. As an educational tool, live theatre is unique in its ability to evoke audience identification."
 Six of Kaiser Permanente's 12 Regions now sponsor 'Secrets' which is offered free of charge to schools and community groups. Says Dwerlkotte, "In many places, schools are required to deliver at least one hour of curriculum related to AIDS awareness. Because of limited resources, 'Secrets' fills that requirement for many school districts."
 'Secrets' features original music, comedy, dance and emotional drama, as well as discussion between the audience and the actors, who are trained to answer questions on the subject material. Educational materials, including a parent's guide, teacher's guide and student handouts, are provided. The parent's guide provides tips for communicating with teens on AIDS and sex. The handouts provide a list of books to read on the subject and a number of important resource phone numbers such as the National PTA AIDS Resource Center.
 Students receive hotline numbers to call about AIDS prevention and AIDS testing. The play promotes abstinence as an acceptable alternative, but provides a demonstration of how to use a condom as a way to promote safe sex.
 Dates and locations for 'Secrets' performances during the next 10 days are provided below. To attend, tape, or photograph a show, call one of the contacts listed above.
 Mid-Atlantic States
 Clarksville, Md. -- Gateway High School -- Nov. 24
 Baltimore, Md. -- Poly-Technic Institute -- Nov. 30
 Baltimore, Md. -- Hamilton Middle School -- Dec. 1
 Severna Park, Md. -- Severna School -- Dec. 2
 Northern California
 Napa -- Napa High School -- Dec. 1
 Kentfield -- Marin Catholic High School -- Dec. 2
 Southern California
 Azusa -- Azusa High School -- Nov. 24
 Lake Elsinore -- Temescal Canyon High -- Nov. 25
 Cerritos -- Tracy High School -- Dec. 1
 Fontana -- Citrus High School -- Dec. 2
 Pasadena -- Pasadena High School -- Dec. 3
 Richmond -- Richmond Hgts. High School -- Nov. 25
 Cleveland -- Cleveland Play House -- Dec. 1
 Warrensville Hgts, Ohio -- Warrensville Hts. High School -- Dec. 2
 Westminster -- Standley Lake High School -- Dec. 2, 3
 Denver -- Byers Alternative High School -- Dec. 4
 -0- 11~24~92
 ~CONTACT: Dan Danzig of Kaiser Permanente, 510-271-5953; or Bruce Lewis or Gary Summers of Lewis~Summers Inc., 510-284-7004, or 510-932-8540 (Lewis' home), or 510-284-9460 (Summers' home), for Kaiser Permanente~

CO: Kaiser Permanente ST: California IN: HEA SU:

GT -- SF003 -- 0866 11~24~92 07:55 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 24, 1992

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