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National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and the Internet

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Understanding how gay and bisexual men are using the Internet and its impact on HIV transmission, testing, and care is critical. Sunday, September 27, is National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Exit Disclaimer (NGMHAAD), which National Association of People with AIDS Exit Disclaimer (NAPWA) and its partners originated and sponsor. NAPWA is using the Internet to support this day which was launched in 2008 in response to the increasing rates of HIV among gay and bisexual men. Here are some comments from Tom Kujawski, NAPWA’s Vice President of Development about the day:

Miguel Gomez

Tom Kujawski, NAPWA’s Vice President of Development

Gay and bisexual men, particularly young men and men of color, continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV and AIDS in the US. NGMHAAD calls upon the nation to respond collectively to the HIV crisis facing gay and bisexual men. NGMHAAD works to encourage gay and bisexual men to get tested; to illustrate how communities, including corporate and elected officials, care about the well-being of gay and bisexual men; and to raise awareness about the severity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic among gay and bisexual men.”

“We hypothesize that gay men generally use three primary types of new (online) media: a) Mainstream: This category includes major publications (national newspapers/monthlies), blogs and social networking (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.); b) LGBT-focused: This category is mainly gay blogs and sites (e.g. Towleroad, gay.com, Andrew Sullivan); and c) Dating & Sex Sites.

“New media plays a central role in NGMHAAD. First, the web allows for much smarter segmentation of demographics and communities. As a result, any messages intended for gay and bisexual men can be much more accurately targeted towards sites that cater to these populations. Secondly, through more viral media like Facebook Exit Disclaimer, Twitter Exit Disclaimer and blogs Exit Disclaimer we can generate a viral response among the more general and targeted population.

Miguel Gomez

“New media can be a great way to reach gay and bisexual men and create a peer-lead, grassroots response to the current HIV epidemic. New media is a vehicle to reinforce credible fact-based sources of HIV/AIDS information.”

Thanks to Tom for his insight. Here are some suggestions for promoting the key messages for NGMHAAD:

Please leave us a comment and let us know what you are doing with new media to reach people at greatest risk in this epidemic.

Comments

  1. genesis sanchez says:

    ithink the internet is the best way to spread the word about something besides television.
    teenagers now in days communticate through myspace,twitter,facebook,etc.AIDs is a subject most people wouldnt look at especially if its about gays.
    gays get judged because of who they are, the way they look or just because they’re gay.
    its good to know that now they have their own day and show others not to be afraid to get tested just because they’re gay.

  2. I am 15 year survivor of HIV and have created a social group for HIV + GLBT (BOLT-Bringing Our Lives Together) and am currently forming a coalition with othersupport/social/service providers in the South Florida area. We will focus on the many needs of the GLBT in South Florida as well as bring awareness of the devistation still caused by this disease.

  3. The Internet has become such a necessary tool in both advertising and public service announcements.
    I am glad to hear that this is being researched to hopefully spread the word about getting tested and having safe sex.
    Many people I know have NOT gotten tested – ever! It’s shocking to me, but people tend to put it on the back burner and forget about it. We need constant reminders of how important and what I priority it should be.

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