As we approach National HIV Testing Day on June 27th, we find ourselves once again thinking about ways to raise awareness about HIV testing, and to share resources that help link individuals living with HIV to medical care. We’d like to share some thoughts on how using video can be one valuable tool for amplifying your message.
Video adds a face and voice to your message. Ken Williams, who is one of our Black Voices bloggers and Positive Spin men, has been using video for several years to share his story, and to offer encouragement and support for people living with HIV. In an interview with AIDS.gov, Ken said: “I’m glad that my videos and my story can encourage people to know their status, and I hope that they continue to inform and educate people about HIV.” Ken’s storytelling through video has allowed him to creatively express himself in a way that has resonated with his audience.
Video builds community. Many video sites allow you to build a fanbase. For example, YouTube allows individuals to subscribe to their favorite channels and sends them notifications when new videos are uploaded. Recently, the AIDS.gov team launched Positive Spin, a digital storytelling project that aims to raise awareness about the stages of the HIV care continuum. The videos feature personal stories of five HIV-positive, gay black men who are living healthy lives, and they share resources related to HIV testing and connecting to care. By using digital storytelling projects like this one, our aim is to engage individuals who connect with the stories and provide a support system and resources for the Black MSM (men who have sex with men) community.
Video increases connections. Sharing your videos on social media gives you opportunities to connect. In addition, new video live streaming apps allow you to engage with your audience in real-time. Now, it’s easier to deliver content and provide your audiences with access to a live broadcast of an event, conference presentation or policy briefing. If you feel live streaming can be a powerful asset for your organization, check out our blog on live streaming for tips and questions to consider before adopting the technology.
If you have limited experience in video production, but feel inspired to create your own videos without the need for expensive equipment read our “Tips for Producing Online Videos” blog. There are a number of apps (e.g., Premiere Clip and Magisto) that will allow you to record, edit, and export videos from your mobile device.
Finally, how you tell your story or present your message is important. Here are some tips for crafting your message and planning out your video.
Now that we’ve shared with you some of the ways in which video can amplify your message, we invite you to record and produce your own videos to share with your audience for National HIV Testing Day!