The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) AIDS Institute, in partnership with AIDS.gov, was holding a one day forum on social media and HIV/STIs at New York University’s Kimmel Center in New York City.
The first HIV/STI-relatedsocial media conference started with a welcome word from Richard F. Daines, M.D., the 14th Commissioner of Health for New York State, telling about the public health approach to get access to communities, not through old fashioned NY street journal, newspapers.
Where do we place the messages? Youtube video channel, twitter, blog? What is a successful health care media campaign?
Miguel Gomez, the Director of AIDS.gov, Office of HIV/AIDS Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, describing a Media transforming health communication and its current challenges. For instance, integrating SM in public health planning, launching AIDS.gov to understand new media, how to extend the reach, and placing basic HIV data as according to survey for 80% of users the main concern was this type of information; National HIV/AIDS strategy, the practice of recreating blog post into a twit, video and a podcast-3 products out of 1 for the clients of the website.
Lily Williamson , Manager of Strategic Partnerships and Public Affairs at MTV Networks talked about negative effect of new media and the digital abuse (blackmail, abuse, lying, sexting) and the research conducted by carrying out 75 min interviews with 18-24 years old. This age group have it as part of life , do not recognize overuse, and using the new media without a “code of ethics”. MTV’s A Thin Line campaign that was especially developed to identify, respond to, and stop the spread of digital abuse in the youth life: ” The campaign is built on the understanding that there’s a “thin line” between what may begin as a harmless joke and something that could end up having a serious impact on you or someone else. We know no generation has ever had to deal with this, so we want to partner with you to help figure it out.” The project is meant to promote responsibility among youth clients, encourage them how to use technology and empower to identify digital abuse.
and a round of social media initiatives presentations that have been recently launched :
Love heals -online peer education for young women with series of 90-180 seconds videos of topics- HIV prevention and it is not only about a disease, but a whole range of other issues. Social support among youth peer to peer recruitment, that recommended to stay away from Facebook as they are concerned about privacy of their status. As a result youth recommended peers for HIV testing.
Harm Reduction coalition has been working with SM tools and trying to introduce it among hard to reach high risk group: drug users. Podcasts with voices of the drug users, blog, personal twitter posts turned out to be most effective.
Text in the city pilot project for too embarrassed youth to connect to health care, it focuses on 3 separate functions:
- chat- ask question reply with in 24 hours
-birth control reminders-daily weekly
-health byte- text about sexual health and healthy living,weekly.
HIV testing initiative in Brooklyn with a goal of increasing HIV voluntary testing to overcome stigma and make this test a routine.
The conference provided me with a comprehensive update of social media in health care and its application to form a strategic plan for a St.Petersburg AIDS Center where I am working to create a social networking space for patients and doctors.