"A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words"-- How to Increase Involvement in World AIDS Day 2008

Content From: AIDS.govPublished: September 16, 20083 min read


“A picture is worth a thousand words” and today we will be talking about two different powerful pictures that relate to World AIDS Day--one which involves data, and the other which involves you.


Picture # 1: The Trend

The picture above shows our search results from typing “AIDS” into Google TrendsExit Disclaimer (a tool that lets you see what words people are searching for on Google). Two key things caught our attention about this picture: 1) People are searching for the word “AIDS” most frequently around World AIDS Day (December 1st), and 2) for the last four years, there has been a steady decline in the number of people searching for this term.

As AIDS continues to take a devastating toll on people around the world and here at home, we must change this trend. We can't afford to be complacent. A few weeks ago, the CDC told us that the number of Americans who are newly infected with HIV each year is even worse than we thought. Because there is no cure for HIV and no vaccine to counter it, HIV prevention and testing remain two of our most powerful tools in the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

So, here's where picture #2 comes in....

Picture # 2: Changing the Trend

As many of you know, World AIDS Day is December 1st. This is a day for us to come together around HIV/AIDS--to remember, recognize, and take control of the future. But given the downward trend illustrated above, the subject of AIDS seems to be falling off peoples' radar.

The good news is that we know more and more people are going online and turning to their peers for health information. This is where YOU --providers, educators, caretakers, social media gurus and novices, colleagues, and friends--come in. We need your help to reduce the stigma around HIV/AIDS and encourage testing for World AIDS Day. In four easy steps, you can help create change.

Miguel Gomez

Miguel Gomez, Director of HIV.gov

  1. Grab your cell phone or digital camera and take a picture of yourself wearing a red ribbonExit Disclaimer--any red ribbon--cloth, paper, plastic, licorice, etc.--feel free to be creative!
  2. On December 1st--World AIDS Day--add the picture to your social networking profiles, blogs, other websites, etc. Leave the picture up for one week (until December 8th at midnight--no matter where you live).
  3. Add your picture to the World AIDS Day 08Exit Disclaimer Flickr account! Not on Flickr? Flickr is an online photo management and sharing application. Signing up is fast, and allows you to post your picture to the group so we'll have an album of everyone who took action.
  4. Tell 10 friends to do the same.


Together we can remind people that HIV/AIDS is still a threat. Together we change the trend.

Between now and World AIDS Day, we'll blog about other exciting new media activities for you to get involved with....stay tuned!!!

Are you planning any new media activities for World AIDS Day? If so, please let us know about them and we can help spread the word.


Also, next week, HIV.gov will be hosting two different activities at the United States Conference on AIDS (USCA), the nation's largest HIV/AIDS conference. USCA is run by the National Minority AIDS CouncilExit Disclaimer--and it gives us an opportunity to meet with leaders in communities of color to talk about new media.

Our events will include:

Open Discussion Group on New Media (Friday, September 19, 6:45-7:45 PM, Room 302, Convention Center) We will discuss what new media is and how you can use it in your work on HIV prevention, testing, and treatment.

Workshop on HIV/AIDS Awareness Days (Saturday, September 20, 9:30-11:30 AM, Floridian A, Third Floor, Convention Center)--HIV/AIDS Awareness Days: A Turning Point Cross Promotion of the National HIV/AIDS Awareness Days: Where Are We Now? Where Can We Go? We will discuss how HIV/AIDS Awareness Days can be used to promote HIV prevention, testing, and treatment.

If you plan to attend USCA, please join us for the dialogue!