“CAN You See Me?” A CAN Community Health Campaign

CAN Community Health, in collaboration with Florida State University, is working together to bring greater HIV and AIDS information to priority populations at risk. Through several marketing and social media initiatives, CAN Community Health’s project, titled “CAN You See Me? #HIVINFO: A Multifaceted Approach of NIH/NLM Resources Dissemination”, has achieved this goal so far. The project includes several key objectives that have been successful in getting NIH/NLM information out to our audience.

The project’s first objective combined digital advertising and virtual outreach on priority population dating apps. During the COVID-19 lockdown, CAN Community Health’s “Virtual Outreach” program involved embedding specially trained HIV Prevention Specialists on apps like Grindr, Tinder and Scruff to discuss HIV prevention, STI information, and testing resources. Eleven CAN Community Health Prevention Specialist at clinics across the southern and eastern parts of the US included NIH/NLM resources in their dating app profiles. Advertisements on these apps were also purchased and shared NIH HIV prevention links.

Objective two involved the creation of QR (Quick Response) codes. QR codes are a useful tool in receiving HIV information straight to a mobile device. Including QR codes on marketing materials like palm cards and handouts made distribution of NIH/NLM resources easier and more convenient during outreach. QR code signage was also placed throughout our 36 clinics. Four unique QR codes have included information about at home HIV Testing, PrEP, U=U, and the basics of HIV treatment.

The creation and distribution of a quarterly newsletter was CAN Community Health’s third objective. Newsletters have been traditionally under used in the communication of health information. Despite this, studies show that sex education has been well received when placed in a newsletter format. Copies of the newsletter will be distributed to CAN clinics across their network and seen by medical providers, staff, and patients reaching at least 15,000 individuals.

The fourth objective involved elevating NIH/NLM resources on CAN Community Health’s existing social media channels. Social media has long been used to share and receive health messaging. In combination with the credibility of NIH/NLM links, posts included a summary about HIV risk reduction, PrEP, testing and other topics. To date, these posts have been viewed on the feeds of CAN Community Health followers 13,455 times.

The last objective involves conducting a focus group on the CDC HIV Risk Reduction Tool. This tool helps visualize how certain behaviors contribute to one’s risk of acquiring HIV. By the end of the project, CAN Community Health will hold a focus group and share feedback on the tool with project administrators.

By using digital and traditional forms of communication, the “CAN You See Me?” project has been able to provide vital HIV and AIDS information to multiple communities across the country.

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