Awareness For AIDS
Greater Than AIDS was launched last week, on National HIV Testing Day, by the Black AIDS Media Partnership to create a movement of HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness. The campaign aims to mobilize the black community to talk about HIV/AIDS and protect against the spread of the disease.
Though blacks account for 13 percent of the total US population, this community makes up nearly 50% of new HIV cases. That means, approximately half a million Black Americans are living with HIV. Many of those affected lack access to health care and treatment, making this population even more vulnerable. According to the CDC, black men who have sex with men (BMSM) accounted for 63 percent of new infections among black men in 2006.” A campaign that urges testing, prevention and conversation in the black community is essential for change.
Greater Than is a refreshing campaign, though visually dark. The Greater Than AIDS Web site provides advocates with an opportunity to engage others through social network tools, like Twitter and Facebook. The entire Web site is set up as an online community, giving visitors an opportunity to personalize their pages and start or join a conversation. This platform fulfills the campaign’s mission – opening the doors to discussion and change. Additionally, four videos show personal stories of HIV positive people – breaking the silence. Looking for a call to action, there’s plenty. The Web site provides national to local ways people can get involved in HIV advocacy.
Looking for something to do this weekend? Join Greater than AIDS at the ESSENCE Music Festival in New Orleans. On-site, free HIV testing will be available to attendees, followed by an HIV/AIDS seminar featuring Phill Wilson, Executive Director of the Black AIDS Institute; Marvelyn Brown, activist and author; Dr. Hilda Hutcherson and others.
To be quite honest, I really like this campaign – its overall mission, strategy and tactics. Each platform the campaign utilizes gives a voice to the black community. One of the greatest hurdles in changing behavior goes beyond pure education. Campaigns and communications tactics that truly make an impact are those that give communities what is needed – a platform to discuss issues and motivate personal change. I’m excited to see the campaign grow and gain momentum.