Social media and mobile apps are great tools to help you connect to people. For example, you can connect to your former high school sweetheart on Facebook, share photos with your family on Instagram, send an eCard to your partner, or tweet about the great date you had last night. You also can use apps to track your loved ones’ health, send reminders for appointments and dates, or search for services and locations. For Valentine’s Day, we’ve put together a list of some apps and social media sites you can use to show others you care about them and their health.
Let someone know you’re Facing AIDS for them (It’s not just for World AIDS Day anymore)
Since we launched the Facing AIDS anti-stigma photo sharing initiative five years ago, thousands of people have uploaded photos and messages about how they are Facing AIDS for their partners, spouses, family members, and friends. Valentine’s Day is a great time to upload your image on the Facing AIDS site or with the Facing AIDS iPhone app. With the app, you can send your photo via text message or email, or upload it to Facebook and Twitter to let everyone know you care!
Send an eCard reminder to get an HIV test
Healthfinder.gov has eCards for every occasion, including a reminder to get an HIV test. CDC offers e-cards about STDs, too. What better way to show someone you care than to encourage them to know their status?
Connect someone to HIV testing locations and services
After you’ve reminded your loved one to get an HIV test, help them find a testing site near them using the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Services Locator. And yes, there’s an app for that, too. In addition to testing sites, you also can use the Locator to help them find housing, behavioral health and substance abuse services, and other support services. Raul Posas at MetroTeenAIDS knows the importance of these resources first hand. “At MetroTeenAIDS we know that D.C. youth are active on technology. And in order to get them the information they need to protect themselves – like testing locations and other services – we need to make sure they can access it online and on their phones.”
Keep your loved ones in the know about health care
Help someone you love to learn what’s happening. Follow the HealthCare.gov blog for more about health care coverage. And don’t forget to share how to subscribe to the AIDS.gov blog (under the “Subscribe” menu on the right).
Share information and knowledge
Whether you’re living with HIV, working in the HIV community, or caring for someone you love, there’s a lot of information to learn. The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) AIDSinfo has tremendous wealth of information. In addition to the AIDSinfo online resource, they have an HIV/AIDS glossary app (in English and Spanish), widgets, and more! You can also check out the HIV/AIDS Prevention Bilingual Glossary Widget from the Office of Minority Health. The videos and the HIV/AIDS basics section of AIDS.gov can help start a conversation about HIV. With these tools, you will always have important HIV information at your fingertips.
February 14 is not only Valentine’s Day—it’s also National Condom Day! The New York Department of Health’s Condom Finder app is a tool to help users find free condoms in New York City and to access sexual health information. Available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows smartphones, just search for “NYC Condom” to download the app. While this app is only available in New York, we look forward to other cities following suit!
How are you using social media to show you care?