PCP HIV AIDS Toolkit/Sex Education Thru Text (SET)
SET (Sex Education thru Text) is an SMS hotline for quick, anonymous responses to a wide range of sexual education topics, including STDs and HIV/AIDS. The program was created by PC Volunteers Kelly Powasnik and Aaron Simmons and is currently housed and maintained at CFSPI in Baguio City, Benguet. The system uses a standard Smart sim card, so it is available throughout the Philippines.
SET was designed and implemented with the Filipino culture in mind. Cellphones, and in particular texting, are widespread and heavily ingrained into the daily lives of the people. Everyone from the governor to the poor farmer has a cell phone for sending and receiving texts. Additionally, discussions with teenagers about sex from teachers or parents are too often incomplete or ignored. SET gets around this social taboo in a way that is both anonymous and natural for Filipinos: texting.
The user begins by texting the word "SET" to system. This returns a menu of "keywords" to text in for further information. For example:
- User texts: set
- System returns: Welcom 2 Sex-Ed thru txting (SET)! Text keyword 4 mor info: preg, stds, hivaids, or genfacts. 4 contraceptive info text keyword: condom, pill, IUD, tubs-tied, vasectomy, injectable, or other.
- User: hivaids
- System: 4 mor info on hivaids text hivaids den # 4m d list: 1- what is hiv, 2- facts of hiv, 3- effects of hiv…
- User: hivaids 2
- System: no vaccine yet, once infectd cant get rid of virus, cant tel by lokin @ sum1 if dey have HIV: blud test requird, may remain "hidden" 4 many yrs…
Each text to the system costs the user the standard rate of 1 peso per text, but it is not uncommon for curious individuals to run through the entire system, getting every response for every topic (for which unlimitext would be good purchase).
Although all of the responses can be found online at the project's website, the text based nature of SET allows for the information to be retrieved with greater privacy than at an Internet cafe.
All of the information on SET has been reviewed and approved by a physician, with special attention paid to dispelling myths and rumors associated with each topic. Users get real answers to their important questions in just 160 characters!
For additional information about SET, visit the SET Home Page.