September HIV Observances, Gone Digital
Both observances were first marked in 2008 --- not long after the first Facebook posts in 2004 and the first tweets in 2006. Digital communication has become a core part of the strategies used at national health observances, including these two observances, to get the word out about HIV prevention, care, treatment and more.
These facts remind us that the target populations for these observances are often reachable online:
- Evercore ISI says that about 70% of baby boomersExit Disclaimer (ages 55+) use mobile internet (vs. 90% of millennials) and about 14 million baby boomers will start using mobile internet within next 4 years.
- Older adults have been especially rapid adopters of consumer technologies such as social media and smartphonesExit Disclaimer.
- According to the 2018 Community Marketing and Insights surveyExit Disclaimer [PDF, 8.1MB], a significant portion of gay men surveyed have actively used (at least once a week), Facebook in the past 30 days (80%) and 79% have used YouTube at the same frequency.
Digital Resources for September
Today’s post features digital resources to use in your communication about these two observances.
Promotion of HIV testing and other services is central. HIV.gov has a suite of ready assets for your use: enter your zipcode into the HIV.gov Testing Sites & Care Services Locator to find nearby services. Or embed the locator into your site with this widget, and watch and share this video on using the locator with patients, and. And don’t miss our feature articles on HIV testing and the HIV.gov Basics section (and you can copy and re-use any image on HIV.gov).
National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (#NHAAAD)
Watch the AIDS Institute’s NHAAAD pageExit Disclaimer for an announcement of this year’s theme (and more resources), and follow along with the hashtag #NHAAAD. For fact sheets, videos and more from across the US Government, please visit the HIV.gov NHAAAD page and the HIV.gov Basics section. And, as you plan for your digital communication, we’ve got some helpful planning tips in this video.
National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (#NGMHAAD)
Here’s a few of our relevant resources. The shareable articles in our blog can form the foundation of your content for this observance. Positive Spin is a digital educational tool that uses the power of personal stories and video to raise awareness about the HIV care continuum and to encourage people living with HIV to get into treatment. The site includes true stories of five black, gay men who are living with HIV, who have moved from diagnosis to care and treatment and now live healthy lives with HIV. These inspiring men range in age, so you will find a story relevant to the people you want to reach. We’ll be updating our NGMHAAD page throughout September and we encourage you to watch for additional digital resources and messages from CDC.gov.
Why Digital Communication Matters
We at HIV.gov see great value in digital communication in response to the HIV epidemic, but we are not the only believers. Here’s what Parrish Oglesby, Interim Deputy Administrator, Ryan White Office of Shelby County Government said:
"With these two observances, we see an opportunity to widely distribute messages that promote HIV awareness and simultaneously to target content about prevention, testing, care and stigma, to reach men and older adults and those that care about and for these populations. It's just not optional anymore to use digital platforms to get the word out."