Tomorrow is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (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 (LCOA), the lead organization for NLAAD, who told us how LCOA is using new media to promote and organize NLAAD this year, including:
- To get the word out. NLAAD maintains a presence on several social network sites like Myspace , Facebook , and MTV Think (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.
- 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.”
- 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. , Deputy Editor of POZ , 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 of POZ (the article is available in English and Spanish ), and also began a blog 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 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 and podcast . In addition, POZ has online Spanish-language information including an AIDS service directory , and TuSalud , a wellness magazine for Latinos put out by Smart + Strong .
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!