Research Shows Using Video Games is a Great Way to Educate Young People About HIV

In an interview with Medical Research, Lynn E. Fiellin talks about how video games are helping to teach young people about risk prevention related to HIV. Fiellin is an M.D., an Associate Professor of Medicine Yale University School of Medicine, and the director of play2PREVENT Lab.

In the interview she talks about the results of a study that used the iPad game "PlayForward: Elm City Stories" to teach risk reduction and HIV prevention in 333 young teens (ages 11-14).

"We are examining these outcomes in our experimental group compared with a control group playing a set of off-the-shelf games on the iPad," Fiellin tells Medical Research. "The current findings of the 196 teens who have completed the 6 weeks of gameplay and for whom we have baseline and 3 month data, reveal that, while the two groups had no differences in their baseline HIV risk knowledge, the PlayForward group had statistically significant gains in knowledge at 6 weeks."

Fiellin goes on to say that her research shows that using video games can yield results amongst young people because it is what a large portion of them spend a significant amount of time playing games.

She thinks that future studies should focus on how video games can be used as a vehicle for assessment as well as intervention using education on a variety of topics relevant to young people.

You can learn more about the study, which is being presented at the 20th International Aids Conference in Melbourne, Australia this week, here.

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