HIV/AIDS Awareness Days

October 14, 2008


Reaching Latinos with New Media for National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

Podcast of this blog post  |  In Espanol

NLAAD logo

Tomorrow is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day Exit Disclaimer (NLAAD). According to a recently released CDC fact sheet, Latinos represent only 15% of the total U.S. population, but make up 18% of new HIV infections. Among Latinos, men make up the vast majority of new HIV infections (76%), but Latino women are also at disproportionate risk for HIV. They are infected with HIV at a rate four times greater than white women.

In recognition of this important day, we’re continuing our conversation from last week by highlighting additional examples of using new media tools to reach the Latino community with HIV information.

Social Network Sites and Online Tools to Promote NLAAD

We first spoke with Liliana Rañón, Director of NLAAD at the Latino Commission on AIDS Exit Disclaimer (LCOA), the lead organization for NLAAD, who told us how LCOA is using new media to promote and organize NLAAD this year, including:

  1. To get the word out. NLAAD maintains a presence on several social network sites like Myspace Exit Disclaimer, Facebook Exit Disclaimer, and MTV Think Exit Disclaimer (a networking site run by MTV that allows organizations to have profiles focused on a particular issue). They use these social network sites to promote NLAAD events and to share information about HIV in the Latino community. NLAAD also uses televised and online public service announcements (PSAs) to get the word out.
  2. To stay connected. Liliana told us, “[social networking] allowed us to connect with lots of other AIDS organizations. The NLAAD website focuses on the U.S. while MySpace and Facebook have a more international perspective. It takes you out of the realm of what you already know and who you already know.”
NLAAD registration screenshot
  1. To put tools in the hands of the local organizations. Liliana reminded us that some of the simplest new media tools are the most meaningful to local community organizations. Online registration forms on the NLAAD website enable local agencies to promote their work, maintain and update their contact information, and keep the general public, news media, and other community partners up-to-date about their NLAAD activities. It was a reminder that it is not always about using the most high-tech new media tools, but about using a variety of appropriate tools to meet your audiences’ and partners’ needs!

New Media in Español

We next spoke with Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr. Exit Disclaimer, Deputy Editor of POZ Exit Disclaimer, who shared some thoughts and resources on using new media to reach Latinos with HIV information. Oriol recently disclosed being HIV-positive in a feature article he wrote for the October issue Exit Disclaimer of POZ (the article is available in English Exit Disclaimer and Spanish Exit Disclaimer), and also began a blog Exit Disclaimer to continue the conversation on disclosure and stigma. Oriol told us that, “new media is an important component of any outreach strategy to any community. For younger people, new media increases from important to necessary. In particular, younger Latinos in the U.S. are just as Web savvy as any other young people.”

Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr.

Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr., Deputy Editor of POZ

Oriol highlighted the importance of providing audiences with information in the languages they are most comfortable using. A few of POZ’s Spanish-language new media resources include a blog Exit Disclaimer and podcast Exit Disclaimer. In addition, POZ has online Spanish-language information Exit Disclaimer including an AIDS service directory Exit Disclaimer, and TuSalud Exit Disclaimer, a wellness magazine for Latinos put out by Smart + Strong Exit Disclaimer.

When it comes to reaching Latinos online, Oriol recommends having, “as much Spanish-language content as possible. Even if the Latinos visiting your site are English-dominant, having the Spanish-language content indicates a welcoming environment. Also, the Spanish-language content should be easily accessible from the homepage. Promote your online content for Latinos in Spanish-language media if possible.” In keeping with Oriol’s suggestion, this week’s post is also available in Spanish.

Are you using new media to reach your audiences for NLAAD and beyond? If so, please share your stories with us!

October 07, 2008


Communities of Color and New Media Use: Part II

Podcast of this blog post

As we mentioned in our last post, after attending The United States Conference on AIDS Exit Disclaimer we wanted to get a clearer understanding of internet and new media use among communities of color. To learn more we hosted a webinar, “Underserved Populations and New Media Use,” for over 100 of our Federal colleagues and their grantees (visit our podcast page for the slides and an audio recording of the webinar). Last week, we discussed the presentation by Fard Johnmar, Founder of Envision Solutions, LLC. Exit Disclaimer Our other webinar speaker was Alejandro Garcia-Barbon, Senior Technical Advisor to IQ Solutions, Inc. Exit Disclaimer He presented about the “Drugs + HIV > Learn the Link” Campaign of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

NIDA’s “Drugs + HIV > Learn the Link” Campaign: What is it all about?

Spanish Web Banner for HIV Drug AbuseWeb Banner for HIV Drug Abuse

The campaign designed their first public service announcement (PSA), “Text Message,” to reach young African American women with information about non-injection drug use and HIV. The PSA’s success led to the creation of a PSA to reach young Hispanic women. The result was “After the Party,” a PSA available in both Spanish and bilingual English-Spanish versions, about a young woman who receives an HIV-positive diagnosis.

The campaign’s website has resources for teens on HIV and drugs along with five webisodes that continue the story of the characters in the PSAs. They use other new media tools, like MySpace Exit Disclaimer, as a means to distribute and promote their messages.

Stephen Perez, a registered nurse who works with the Latino community in San Francisco around HIV/AIDS, told us, “I encourage my clients to reflect on the impact of alcohol and drugs in their lives. This site helps to reinforce these messages. The use of new media tools, like MySpace, to further promote the campaign reaches many young Latinos where they are already spending time.”

How can I use these tools to get ready for National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD)?

Web Banner for NLAAD: United we can: HIV/AIDS stops here.  Prevention starts with us.

October 15 is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day Exit Disclaimer. In anticipation of this important day, consider sharing the “Drugs + HIV > Learn the Link” resources with your colleagues and friends. And check out another campaign targeted to Hispanic audiences: the Soy (I am) Exit Disclaimer project, a joint venture Exit Disclaimer between Univision Exit Disclaimer and the Kaiser Family Foundation. Exit Disclaimer Soy tells the stories of individual Latinos living with HIV/AIDS; another example of using new media to start conversations, reduce stigma, and link people to important information and resources.

What are lessons learned for programs wanting to use new media tools to reach underserved communities with HIV/AIDS messages?

  1. Tell a story. By making the characters and their actions realistic and relevant to the lives of their target audience (young African American and Hispanic women), the NIDA campaign draws the viewers in and makes them care about the content.
  2. Have good content. A good story isn’t enough by itself - the information has to be accurate and link the viewer to the additional resources they need.
  3. Be flexible. By using a variety of formats - webisodes, radio and TV PSAs, print and online materials - including some that are effectively accessible without a broadband internet connection - and marketing them in different ways, the campaign responds to the reality of where their audience gets information and how they want to receive it.

With just one week to go, it’s also time to register Exit Disclaimer your NLAAD event or find one to attend. And stay tuned next week for more on using new media to reach the Latino community and the Latino Commission on AIDS! Exit Disclaimer

September 16, 2008


"A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words"-- How to Increase Involvement in World AIDS Day 2008

Podcast of this blog post

“A picture is worth a thousand words” and today we will be talking about two different powerful pictures that relate to World AIDS Day--one which involves data, and the other which involves you.

Screen shot of Google Trends: HIV, AIDS

Picture # 1: The Trend

The picture above shows our search results from typing “AIDS” into Google Trends Exit Disclaimer (a tool that lets you see what words people are searching for on Google). Two key things caught our attention about this picture: 1) People are searching for the word “AIDS” most frequently around World AIDS Day (December 1st), and 2) for the last four years, there has been a steady decline in the number of people searching for this term.

As AIDS continues to take a devastating toll on people around the world and here at home, we must change this trend. We can't afford to be complacent. A few weeks ago, the CDC told us that the number of Americans who are newly infected with HIV each year is even worse than we thought. Because there is no cure for HIV and no vaccine to counter it, HIV prevention and testing remain two of our most powerful tools in the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

So, here's where picture #2 comes in....

Picture # 2: Changing the Trend

As many of you know, World AIDS Day is December 1st. This is a day for us to come together around HIV/AIDS--to remember, recognize, and take control of the future. But given the downward trend illustrated above, the subject of AIDS seems to be falling off peoples' radar.

The good news is that we know more and more people are going online and turning to their peers for health information. This is where YOU --providers, educators, caretakers, social media gurus and novices, colleagues, and friends--come in. We need your help to reduce the stigma around HIV/AIDS and encourage testing for World AIDS Day. In four easy steps, you can help create change.

Miguel Gomez
  1. Grab your cell phone or digital camera and take a picture of yourself wearing a red ribbon Exit Disclaimer--any red ribbon--cloth, paper, plastic, licorice, etc.--feel free to be creative!
  2. On December 1st--World AIDS Day--add the picture to your social networking profiles, blogs, other websites, etc. Leave the picture up for one week (until December 8th at midnight--no matter where you live).
  3. Add your picture to the World AIDS Day 08 Exit Disclaimer Flickr account! Not on Flickr? Flickr is an online photo management and sharing application. Signing up is fast, and allows you to post your picture to the group so we'll have an album of everyone who took action.
  4. Tell 10 friends to do the same.

Together we can remind people that HIV/AIDS is still a threat. Together we change the trend.

Between now and World AIDS Day, we'll blog about other exciting new media activities for you to get involved with....stay tuned!!!

Are you planning any new media activities for World AIDS Day? If so, please let us know about them and we can help spread the word.

Also, next week, will be hosting two different activities at the United States Conference on AIDS Exit Disclaimer (USCA), the nation's largest HIV/AIDS conference. USCA is run by the National Minority AIDS Council Exit Disclaimer--and it gives us an opportunity to meet with leaders in communities of color to talk about new media.

Our events will include:

Open Discussion Group on New Media (Friday, September 19, 6:45-7:45 PM, Room 302, Convention Center) We will discuss what new media is and how you can use it in your work on HIV prevention, testing, and treatment.

Workshop on HIV/AIDS Awareness Days (Saturday, September 20, 9:30-11:30 AM, Floridian A, Third Floor, Convention Center)--HIV/AIDS Awareness Days: A Turning Point Cross Promotion of the National HIV/AIDS Awareness Days: Where Are We Now? Where Can We Go? We will discuss how HIV/AIDS Awareness Days can be used to promote HIV prevention, testing, and treatment.

If you plan to attend USCA, please join us for the dialogue!

June 24, 2008


Reaching Bloggers for National HIV Testing Day

Banner for National HIV Testing day webinar

Last week, hosted a Webinar Exit Disclaimer for bloggers in advance of National HIV Testing Day (on June 27). We reached out to bloggers for this event because so many people today depend on bloggers for their news, information, and opinions.

Who participated in the Webinar?

Participants included bloggers who blog about health-related topics and/or those who reach communities infected, affected, or at highest risk for HIV. Several of our Federal colleagues also attended the Webinar. Timothy Harrison from HHS’ Office of HIV/AIDS Policy was the moderator, and Dr. Bernie Branson from the CDC, Dr. Celia Maxwell Exit Disclaimer from Howard University Hospital, and Mr. Andre Blackman Exit Disclaimer from the Pulse & Signal Blog Exit Disclaimer presented and answered questions from bloggers.

Photo of Timothy Harrison

Timothy Harrison from HHS’ Office of HIV/AIDS Policy

Photo of Dr. Bernie Branson

Dr. Bernie Branson from the CDC

Photo of Dr. Celia Maxwell

Dr. Celia Maxwell from Howard University Hospital

Photo of Mr. Andre Blackman

Mr. Andre Blackman from the Pulse & Signal Blog

How can bloggers help promote National HIV Testing Day?

  1. Take an HIV test Exit Disclaimer and then blog about it.
  2. Promote web badges Exit Disclaimer on your blog that link people to the KNOWIT HIV testing text messaging campaign.
  3. Promote the HIV testing PPSAs we blogged about last week and mentioned during the Webinar.
  4. Link to the Webinar transcript.
  5. Host or attend a local event Exit Disclaimer for National HIV Testing Day and blog about it.

What HIV testing messages were heard on the Webinar?

  1. Some of the biggest barriers to getting tested for HIV include: stigma, fear of the results, perception of not being at-risk, and assuming their healthcare provider has already tested them.
  2. Getting an HIV test can be quick and painless! As Dr. Maxwell told us, “results can be given to the person in as little as 20 minutes. It involves a swab of the inner lining of the mouth.”
  3. The HIV epidemic is disproportionately impacting African Americans and men who have sex with men (MSM). Dr. Branson shared that “49 percent of all reported cases of AIDS in the United States occur among African Americans who represent only 12 percent of the population.”
  4. Don't be afraid to ask your healthcare provider for a test. Dr. Maxwell said, “I often say to patients this is really no different than getting your Pap smear if you’re a woman...or knowing your cholesterol. This is part of being well!”
  5. If you test positive for HIV, treatment and care are available which may help improve your health and protect your partners. To learn more about living with HIV please visit the “treatment and care” section on

What did bloggers ask about?

During the Webinar, we answered live questions from bloggers--check out the transcript. Unfortunately, we didn’t get all the questions during the Webinar, so we’ve responded to additional questions here.

What’s up next?

In closing, the team wants to thank all the participants, speakers, and organizers that made this Webinar possible! We also encourage you to help spread the word about National HIV Testing Day on June 27.

Next week we’ll be returning to our series on virtual worlds...stay tuned!!

June 17, 2008


20 students. 6 universities. 8 short videos. 1 cause. National HIV Testing Day Personal Public Service Announcements

Photo of Dr. Kevin Fenton with a PPSA participant

Dr. Kevin Fenton, Director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention , with a PPSA participant

To help get the word out about National HIV Testing Day (June 27), the CDC and the University of Georgia’s New Media Institute Exit Disclaimer collaborated on an innovative new media project. More than 20 students from six universities and five AIDS organizations hit the streets with video cameras this April to produce eight short video messages Exit Disclaimer encouraging young people to be tested for HIV.

To learn more about this project, we spoke with Dr. Scott Shamp Exit Disclaimer, a professor at the University of Georgia and the director of the New Media Institute Exit Disclaimer, and with our CDC colleague Jackie Rosenthal.

What are Personal PSAs?

Public service announcements Exit Disclaimer have become a mainstay in public health efforts. What differentiates personal PSAs from traditional ones, is that in addition to being user-generated, they are shared via cell phones and social network sites Exit Disclaimer, like YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook.

Why Personal PSAs?

Rosenthal stated, “We know that there are millions of young people who consume media differently today. They are more in tune with colleagues and the world via personal communication devices such as cell phones. We started to research the role of cell phones and other mobile media devices, and how these assets can play a part in enhancing people’s lives.”

Photo of Dr. Scott Shamp

Dr. Scott Shamp, University of Georgia's New Media Institute

Dr. Shamp continued, “There is a new generation of creative individuals who can create a lot of cool things that resonate with various target audiences with very little technology.” And a cell phone allows people to send these messages friend-to-friend, colleague-to-colleague.

Creating the PPSAs

Each PPSA took a different approach to communicate the same message - HIV testing is quick, simple, painless, and VERY important.

We asked Dr. Shamp to tell us about how the PPSAs were developed. He told us that, after spending one day learning about HIV/AIDS, testing and surveillance, the students were then put into small groups and tasked with coming up with ideas for their short videos. On the second day, an expert panel approved their concepts and the groups hit the pavement with inexpensive video cameras to turn their concepts into actual video footage. On the evening of the second day, they showed the final products to all the students and project partners. “It was really exciting,” said Dr. Shamp.

The PPSA team credits two major components for bringing this project together and executing it successfully: creativity and cooperation. This endeavor required a group of partners like CDC and Verizon Wireless. Dr. Shamp stated, “It also relied heavily on crazily brave individuals to take on the production, and students and faculty, whom we call intrepid innovators, to help us carry this out from inception to completion.”

Tune in!

In anticipation of National HIV Testing Day, the PPSAs will be available on CDC’s YouTube channel Exit Disclaimer and MySpace Page Exit Disclaimer. We also encourage you to embed the video(s) Exit Disclaimer on your Web site or blog in support and observance of National HIV Testing Day.

For more information, visit the Univerisity of Georgia’s New Media Institute website Exit Disclaimer.

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