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Using New Media to Reach Women and Girls

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March 10 National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness DayNational Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) is on March 10th. The goal of this annual observance day is to encourage people across the country to take action to address HIV/AIDS and raise awareness of its impact on women and girls. This year’s theme is “Share Knowledge. Take Action.” Sharing stories, photos, and resources using new media are among the ways you can take action on this important day.

Why is this day important?

As the HIV epidemic in the United States has changed over the last 30 years, women represent a larger share of new HIV infections. In 2011, women and adolescent girls (aged 13 and older) accounted for 21% of the estimated new diagnoses of HIV. While African American women continue to be disproportionately impacted, in December 2012 the CDC reported that new HIV infections among African American women were declining for the first time in over a decade.

Why use new and social media to reach women and girls?

According to Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, the typical users of social media are urban women under thirty years of age. Seventy one percent of women who use the internet use social networking sites, compared with 61% of men. Contributing to that trend are women’s disproportionately high use of Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. For example, women are approximately five times more likely than men to be on Pinterest Exit Disclaimer, the largest difference in gender of any site featured in the Pew report. When it comes to blogging, there are 3,236 health blogs in the BlogHer Network Exit Disclaimer, the largest community of women who blog.

How is the HIV community using new media to reach women and girls?

Red Pump Project: For the fifth year in a row, the “Rock the Red Pump Exit Disclaimer” campaign is encouraging bloggers to add the  “Rock the Red Pump” widget on their blogs and to dedicate a blog post on March 10th to the topic of HIV among women and girls. The Red Pump Project also has a photo-sharing campaign where women can upload pictures on new media sites of themselves wearing their favorite pair of red shoes. People who upload photos are encouraged to use the hashtag #RocktheRedPump Exit Disclaimer.

A Girl Like Me: The Well Project created the “A Girl Like Me” blog where women and girls share stories of how HIV impacts their lives. It is an online space where women from around the world can share stories that inspire and provide comfort to women who may feel they are alone living with HIV. Many of the contributors also include photos and videos with their stories.

How can you get involved with NWGHAAD?
  • Attend an event in your community. Use the NWGHAAD calendar of events to find an event near you.
  • Follow the AIDS.gov NWGHAAD board on Pinterest (just released today!)
  • Find HIV testing and other services for yourself and/or those you care about.
  • Watch and share this video that features women all over the country sharing how they are Facing AIDS.

Have ideas for bringing visibility to National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day?  We want to hear from you! Please use the comments to share opportunities.

Comments

  1. Mark Neil says:

    If “In 2011, women and adolescent girls (aged 13 and older) accounted for 21% of the estimated new diagnoses of HIV”, why is it so important to exclude men from this campaign? why is the demographic that makes up almost 80% of those infected not important enough to be included here? Is there an equivalent men’s day? And if so, when is it? If not, why are men so casually tossed aside when they make up the vast majority of those infected? Is it because the infection rate for women increased from a number less than 21% up to 21%? And if this is the case, why is that, is it because more women are getting infected, or less men? And why is equal outcomes in this case a problem? Does equality only matter when it’s a positive for women?

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