SAMHSA and World AIDS Day—Using New Media

Content From: Miguel Gomez, Director,, and Senior Communications Advisor, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesPublished: December 01, 20113 min read


“Leading with Science, Uniting for Action” is the U.S. Government (USG) theme for World AIDS Day 2011. This year, we are thankful for scientific advances in the response to HIV/AIDS—advances which have led Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to call for an “AIDS-free generationExit Disclaimer.”

On December 1st, people all around the world will commemorate World AIDS Day. We will think about how far we have come in the last 30 years, and we at encourage everyone to get involved.

World AIDS Day provides a special opportunity for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), its community partners in behavioral health, consumers, and advocates – who I know deeply understand stigma and issues related to access to care – to expand our collective response to the epidemic.What can you do?

  1. Watch and share Secretary Clinton’s historic speechExit Disclaimer on HIV/AIDS, which calls for the creation of an “AIDS-free generation.”
  2. Take a photo for Facing AIDS. Share your message of why we all need to step up and face AIDS together.
  3. Print posters and tools from our World AIDS Day resources and use them at your events. Many are customizable and in English and Spanish.
  4. Locate HIV testing and other social services. Use and share the HIV/AIDS Prevention & Service Providers Locator and add the widget to your website or blog. Working with SAMHSA and other Federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), the Office of Population Affairs (OPA), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), we have developed the HIV Prevention & Service Provider Locator. In addition to helping people find nearby HIV testing sites, the locator uses SAMHSA’s database of substance abuse and mental health services to provide valuable and often life-extending support to people living with, or at risk for, HIV.
  5. Learn about and share the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Read about what SAMHSA is doing and share the Strategy in action. Talk about it with your colleagues — what would it take to make the goals of the Strategy real in your community?
  6. Follow our blogs from guest blogs from SAMHSA, the CDC, and other Federal partners.
  7. Use the hashtag #WAD11Exit Disclaimer when sharing your thoughts on Twitter or Facebook.
  8. Learn more about the intersection of behavioral health and HIV and about the epidemic today.

As we commemorate World AIDS Day today, we laud SAMHSA and their community partners for their efforts to: educate their workforce about HIV/AIDS; use new media to provide materials and information and provide valuable resources and linkages to care—today and every day. We join SAMHSA in our appreciation of the power of new media to extend the reach of our HIV prevention, testing, and treatment messages.