At the CDC’s HIV Prevention Conference last August, I talked with our colleague, Humberto Cruz, about new media and HIV. Humberto is the Director of the AIDS Institute at the New York State Department of Health . I was excited to hear about the AIDS Institute’s adoption of new media — they’ve developed a widget for emergency room providers of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and their Disease Information Specialists are taking a lead for online partner notification for STIs. They have also convened a Social Media Workgroup and are developing a comprehensive new media strategy.
Last week AIDS.gov had the honor of facilitating a discussion with Humberto and his colleagues to determine the next steps for their new media strategic planning. The meeting included staff from several of AIDS Institute’s programs, including HIV clinical care, prevention, evaluation, as well as the Department’s Division of STI Prevention. It was a great opportunity for me to share some of our AIDS.gov lessons learned, and more importantly, to learn from a state Health Department’s strategic planning process.
By emphasizing the need to plan and evaluate new media activities and tools, the AIDS Institute is helping to extend the reach of HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment programs to the residents of New York and beyond. Additionally, their strategy is not limited to helping people at risk for, or living with, HIV — they are also providing a communications model for the larger public health community.
To support long-term planning, the Social Media Workgroup plans to meet monthly to assess progress, address challenges to implementing new media, and share lessons learned. In partnership with the AIDS Institute Social Media Workgroup, we look forward to sharing their experiences in the coming months.