At AIDS.gov we manage and receive guidance from the Federal HIV/AIDS Web Council (FHAWC). Its members are the federal agencies that address HIV testing, care and treatment, research and policy issues. During my internship with AIDS.gov this summer, I took a look at how the agencies of the Council are drawing on new media platforms to extend the reach of federal HIV/AIDS information.
Federal Programs Active on New Media Platforms
My review revealed an exciting level of federal interest in and use of these platforms. Every Council agency is present on at least one new media platform, with the most popular platforms being Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Here are a few examples:
- AIDSinfo of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) tweets about HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, and research
- The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) shares breakthrough developments in HIV/AIDS vaccine research on their Facebook page
- The U.S. Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) uploads key HIV/AIDS messages from Ambassador Goosby on their YouTube channel
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) uses Facebook and Twitter to post information about HIV AIDS, often linking to their libary of HIV/AIDS resources and publications. And earlier this summer Gretchen Stiers, the HIV/AIDS Policy Lead at SAMHSA participated in a Twitter Chat with CDC NPIN
- Many of the Council member agencies are displaying shareable new media tools on their web pages, one being the HIV/AIDS Prevention & Service Provider Locator widget.
- Some of our federal partners rely on their agency-wide platforms to extend their messages that are specific to HIV/AIDS. For example the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) regularly uses its Twitter account in this way
Several agencies have also created dedicated social media pages which list all their new media activities, such as the CDC’s social media page.
Where will federal agencies go with new media?
New media is an ever-changing realm of communications, where innovative ways to connect with your community are being developed each day. As the AIDS.gov team and the Council continue to collaborate, we look forward to sharing additional examples of how these agencies are using their presence on social media channels and adapting to new tools. (Google+, Foursquare, etc.) Currently, Council members are working to respond to the Executive Order for Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service, and are learning from the resources provided by the HHS Center for New Media and also from non-governmental users.
How is your agency using new media to address HIV/AIDS? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below!