Until 2005, the State of Maine had limited HIV infections when compared to other areas. The surge in HIV-positive results - fifty-eight new HIV diagnoses being reported - raised red flags among public health officials, and provided indication that the virus was spreading among men. This was the largest jump seen since 1996 and represented a marked increased over the 46 diagnoses reported in 2004.
In response to the increase in HIV infections, the State of Maine came to Caraway to create a social marketing campaign to raise HIV prevention awareness and testing resources among men who have sex with men (MSMs). The campaign, Deserve to Know ME, relied on educational materials, radio, and the Internet to provide message saturation in target markets. The desired result was modified behavior to decrease HIV infection and exposure, and address the unmet need among HIV-positive men who have sex with MSMs. Throughout the campaign, the message penetrated to the target populations was clear: "be responsible;" and, "others deserve to know." The campaign consists of many components which keep these messages highly visible.