Note from Miguel Gomez, on an initiative to bring HIV testing information to millions for World AIDS Day and beyond. Read on to find out what John Newsome, Vice-President of the U.S. HIV/AIDS Initiative with the GBC had to say about this World AIDS Day initiative:
HIV.gov has developed the most advanced tool yet for people to search for HIV testing locations near their ZIP codes—including a dynamic map and links to other health services. Combining data from CDC, HUD, SAMHSA, and HRSA, competencies from throughout the government and the power of the internet, the new locator is a potential game-changer.
And starting next week, the locator will be available for up-to 100 million Americans—without spending a dime.
Talk about bang for your buck!
The key to that kind of cost-effectiveness is an innovative partnership model—one that matches the remarkable tools and know-how of the public health community with the assets and reach of the private sector.
To understand how the model works, we need to start with a hairdresser—500,000 of them to be exact. That’s the total number of hairdressers that the beauty product company L’Oréal reaches through its professional products division on a regular basis.
Beginning on World AIDS Day, L’Oréal educators will also equip those 500,000 hairdressers with the tools and information they need to educate their clients—totaling up-to 100 million people—about HIV prevention and testing.
Where will those clients go to find HIV testing? The new HIV.gov locator, located on the campaign's website.
The Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria is based on the idea that by bringing business into the equation—and focusing on what they're good at—we can fill gaps and bring down costs in HIV/AIDS programs.
It's an idea that we've seen work with MTV, for example, which partnered with the Kaiser Family Foundation, Planned Parenthood and the CDC for Get Yourself Tested. That campaign put MTV's reach and brand to use in order to encourage young people to get tested.
HIV.gov doesn’t need to design an expensive campaign in a silo. By partnering with business in a strategic and coordinated way the locator gets promoted through the networks that companies have spent years developing—at no cost to the taxpayer.
It's leveraging existing networks in ways that force-multiply existing efforts.
We like to think of it as recession-proofing the HIV/AIDS fight.