Reaching Latinos with New Media for National Latino AIDS Awareness Day


Javascript and flash are required to play this audio file.

Download MP3
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!