Woodinville mom fundraises to change HIV education

Woodinville mom fundraises to change HIV education
Jodie Howerton and her son who was born HIV-positive.

SEATTLE – A mother from Woodinville has started an online fundraising campaign to update HIV/AIDS educational materials in public schools.

Two years ago Jodie Howerton discovered just how out-of-date the current materials are when she discovered her daughter’s fifth grade class would be watching a documentary from the 1980s.

Having adopted an HIV-positive child herself, Howerton made it her mission to update the curriculum.

The Seattle Times reports:

As part of a campaign she’s calling Redefine Positive, Howerton sat down a year ago with representatives from the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation, Public Health — Seattle & King County, Northshore schools and other parents and advocates to discuss a series of documentary-style educational videos that could be used not just at her children’s school, but in elementary, middle and high schools throughout the state.

Production work on the first two videos is to begin in November.

“Not many kids are being born in the U.S. with this disease, but a number of kids who are HIV-positive are being adopted,” she said. “These kids, like my son, are going to sit down in classrooms where inaccurate, outdated information is being presented.”

You can read the Seattle Times’ full story or check out Howerton’s online campaign. You can also watch the campaign promo video here: