A World AIDS Day Message to our Colleagues

World AIDS Day, Dec 1 2008

Today marks the twentieth World AIDS Day—it’s a day for all of us to come together to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, to remember those we’ve lost, and to acknowledge those working to respond to this epidemic.

HIV/AIDS affects everyone, but as CDC’s Dr. Kevin Fenton reminded us in his statement for World AIDS Day, “Several U.S. populations bear the greatest burden of HIV. The impact is most severe for gay and bisexual men, who account for approximately half of new infections and of those living with HIV. Some minority communities are also disproportionately affected by the disease, with African-Americans becoming infected at seven times the rate of whites, and Hispanics at three times the rate of whites.”

We must continue to challenge ourselves to find innovative ways to reach people with HIV information and resources. This World AIDS Day has provided us with an opportunity to explore different ways to use new media in our work. We’ve invited you to join us in Facing AIDS for World AIDS Day to help reduce HIV/AIDS stigma. We’ve encouraged you to dedicate your blog posts on December 1 to issues related to HIV/AIDS. And we’ve even asked you to go “virtual” for a World AIDS Day event in Second Life.

In the last year, we have heard from hundreds of our colleagues about the importance of providing basic new media information and how to evaluate its appropriate use. So, on this very important day, we want to take a step back and ask ourselves: how can new media best augment and support efforts to respond to HIV/AIDS? As a member of the AIDS community, we’re still figuring out the best ways to train and convey this information. We want to know from you: how can we at be most helpful? We don’t have all the answers, but together we can figure it out.

The truth is that we’re still learning. We’re learning from our own activities—but mostly we’re learning from YOU. Today, as we all pause to think about the importance of this day, we want to thank you for the work you do to respond to HIV/AIDS. And we ask for your input in guiding our activities. Please tell us (leave a comment, tweet Exit Disclaimer, or send an email), how do you think new media can augment and support efforts to respond to HIV/AIDS?



  1. Just found this blog today. Very important issue. I think you need to be everywhere young people are. Establish a presence on all the social media you can find. Publish new HIV/AIDS information on a regular basis. Provide links and numbers to AIDS hotlines, Show videos and interviews on YouTube of patients, doctors, researchers, social workers and anyone else willing to talk about the problem. Embed these videos in all your social media sites – MySpace, Facebook, HubPages, Squidoo, etc. Bookmark the videos on sites like Delicious, Digg, Propeller, Technorati, Furl, Slashdot, Reddit, Boing Boing.
    Also register this blog with all of the blog indexing services you can find. Essentially, you want an online presence everywhere young people like to hang out.
    Hope this helps.

  2. Media must be used to make people aware about the risks. We could use it to let people know the American College of Physicians (ACP) guideline that urges a routinely HIV screening for all patients 13 years and older.
    This new guideline, released on World AIDS Day, says doctors should offer initial screening to all patients and should determine the need for repeat screening intervals on a case-by-case basis.
    ACP also provides a list of high-risk patients. See more

  3. I joined Bloggers Unite and blogged about this issue. VERY IMPORTANT. Please read here, if interested. This issue is important to me.

  4. IF you missed the World Aids day virtual event it was recorded. you can get the broadcast here as an mp3 or you can play it.
    Let me know what you think. We will also be holding a virtual hiv/aids support group in Second Life every second saturday of the month at 2 pm
    my email is email me if you are interested in attending

  5. I think that your call to bloggers and Flickr photogroup is a good start. I blogged about equity for HIV+ patients in addiction treatment centers, which is my own angle on the subject. Just as the red ribbon took off, I think that social media news can, too…with the right features. I’d suggest that you look into new, interesting PSAs and create a YouTube channel. Make them hot, funny, and memorable. Get the issue back into people’s minds.
    HIV addiction issue blog post:

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