World AIDS Day 2011 in New York was marked by another event using social media against HIV and STDs.
The New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute conducted a one-hour Facebook/Live Town Hall in which young people were invited to ask and post questions about HIV, STDs, sexual health, and substance use.
Answers came from a panel of three, consisting of clinician Dr. Donna Futterman, Director of the Adolescent AIDS Program at Montefiore Medical Center ; activist Marvelyn Brown from the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Greater Than AIDS campaign; and HIV/substance use educator Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, Executive Director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence .
Against the backdrop of beautiful AIDS Memorial Quilts from The Names Project , school groups, state employees, and visitors asked and commented on a wide range of topics, from the general “how can you tell if someone has AIDS?” to the very personal “I’m afraid no one will ever love me if I say I have HIV.”
Panelists discussed the disturbing increase in adolescent drug and alcohol use and its relationship to sexual risk behavior, the health disparities that predispose communities to high rates of HIV, the need for young people to know their HIV status and to step up and take control of their health, and many other topics.
Young people were also offered the chance to record a short video answering the question “What Can I Do to Make a Difference?”
To see a video of the Town Hall event, go to http://nyconferences.org/socialmedia/wad.cfm .