Social Media and HIV

Around ASF Blog
Volume 2 / Entry 2
February 7, 2013

Hello friends,

I just read an interesting article that confirms what I have been advocating at the agency for a few years. Social media can be a powerful tool in educating the public about HIV/AIDS. And it can serve as a gateway to prevention and treatment efforts, too.

A UCLA study recently published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases found that “African American and Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) voluntarily used health-related Facebook groups, which were created by the study’s investigators, to discuss such things as HIV knowledge, stigma and prevention and ultimately to request at-home HIV testing kits.”

This is really exciting information for those of us charged with getting the message out to at-risk groups in our area. ASF needs to reach Latino MSM’s, who are not necessarily homosexual, and straight youth aged 16-29. They are our two most at-risk communities in Orange County.

If we can use social media to get people talking and reduce the stigma of HIV in every community, we would see, as the study demonstrates, an increase in the possibility that they will get tested. If they test positive for HIV, we can get them into care immediately and substantially reduce the risk that they will ever display any symptoms of infection.

That’s how we are going to conquer this disease…one person at a time. Help us reach that person and talk about HIV and AIDS on social media. If it helps get a conversation started, link them to this blog.

Click here to read the full article from Infection Control Today.

Thanks for reading!

Marc Montminy
Director of Communications and Public Relations

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