Use of Social Media in HIV/AIDS Awareness: Project H.E.L.P.

With the popularity of social media, the public is becoming more active in their awareness and education about public health topics. Media has a strong social and cultural influence upon society. Due to its innate ability to reach a large number of people, it is broadly used to send messages to build public opinion and awareness. Through the internet, individuals can inform themselves about symptoms, treatment, and other health-related information. In this post, we will explore how AIDS Foundation Houston (AFH) plans to impact HIV/AIDS education, support, relations, and awareness through online digital strategies.

AFH is currently in its second year of Project H.E.L.P. (HIV, Education, Learning and PrEP), a partnership with AFH and the University of Houston’s Honors College Biomedical Sciences Department. The project focuses on utilizing HIV/AIDS information and resources in underserved areas of Houston with a high HIV prevalence.

AFH collaborated with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to provide training to staff on HIV/AIDS resources. AFH’s partnership with NLM supports AFH’s mission to lead the innovate effort in the prevention of new HIV infections and empower individuals, families, and communities affected by HIV/AIDS to create and sustain healthy lives. The NLM website, AIDSinfo, is a valuable resource for high quality, easy to read content for Activities and objects that won’t spread HIVsocial media distribution. The NLM HIV Resources Training allowed staff to learn about NLM’s available websites, infographics, and social media visuals for information sharing.

AFH has a substantial following on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Through social media, AFH social media team sends followers weekly posts, tweets, pictures, and videos on HIV/AIDS resources and other health disparities.  The social media team manages the networks daily and updates content regularly. The experience is very interactive, allowing users to share information and ask questions about HIV/AIDS and PrEP resources. The platforms provide AFH with measurable results and allow us to see what topics are of importance to the community. Our numbers are great, we have been able to reach over 16,000 people through social media in the last quarter. This has been extremely encouraging because we have been able to use viable communication strategies to promote better outcomes. The results are expected to increase with time and consistency.

Steps people with HIV can take to be on the way to a healthier life

 



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