HIV Prevention Goes Social: Social Media Strategy Toolkit

With the influx of tweets, posts and “likes”, social media has changed the way in which organizations communicate with their constituents for good.  The question remains how to effectively harness the social media momentum to effectively integrate a social media strategy into an existing communications strategy.  Recently,, National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) and others have created excellent materials to help organizations get started.

The focus of a communications strategy is two-fold: communicate your information and have it be successfully received.  Social media makes it easier to get the word out but the information is not always effectively received.  That’s where strategy comes into play.  To summarize our previous post on the 2011 Communication Communications Strategy (, let’s revisit Forrester Research’s “POST” method in determining how to shape and implement a communications strategy.  “POST” relies on four critical areas:

People: Who are we trying to reach? Who is our primary audience and where do they exist online?

Objective(s): What are we trying to accomplish? What is our mission and what are our specific goals?

Strategy: How do new and traditional media support the organization’s objectives? How do we best meet our audience’s information needs and fulfill our communication goals?

Technology: What are the most appropriate tools to use? How can we repurpose existing content? In what ways do you want to interact and respond to your audience through tweets, “likes” and comments?  

Once these questions have been sufficiently addressed, it’s time to consider your group’s organizational needs and constraints.  Who needs to be actively involved in creating the effort? Remember that managing a strategy requires time.  For example, maintaining an online blog can require a minimum of five to ten hours a week on average.  How much time does your team have to devote to a strategy? Lastly, it is important to consider how you plan to measure success.  How many Twitter followers do you have? How many do you want?

Social media also makes it easier to connect to similar groups and form partnerships with other organizations.  Consider how to take advantage of this through Twitter hashtags (#) and mentions (@), sharing content (such as this Dose of Change blog post sharing material from NMAC and, and utilizing geolocation features of social networking sites.  Geolocation involves linking a location to social media, such as “checking in” to Foursquare, which enables other Foursquare users, as well as many users on Facebook, to see what their friends are doing and where.  Geolocation features can be used to promote online behavior by offering incentives to participants.  For example, MTV automatically entered people to win a contest if they “checked in” after getting tested for HIV as part of their partnered with the 2009 Kaiser Family Foundation Get Yourself Tested campaign. 

Learn more about creating and implementing an effective social media with the following toolkit: 2011 Communications Plan:


HIV/AIDS Advocate’s Guide to Submitting Comments on Exchange Regulations

Please read this information from our allies at HIV Healthcare Access Working Group:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released comprehensive exchange regulations in July, with comments due on September 28, 2011.  This regulation will have a huge impact on how the exchanges will work and on what sort of protections will be in place to make sure that the many people living with HIV who will be getting insurance through the exchanges will  have access to HIV providers, plan information, and care and treatment.

The HIV Health Care Access Working Group has developed this guide to highlight what is at stake for people living with HIV and AIDS in design and implementation of exchanges and to help state advocates craft their own comments (to submit comments, right click HERE or see below). Please use the points included in the guide to submit comments on all of the issues or just those that are most important to you or your organization.

Instructions for Submitting Comments to HHS

The regulations are available online at:!documentDetail;D=HHS-OS-2011-0020-0001

Comments may be submitted online at:!submitComment;D=HHS-OS-2011-0020-0001

If you have any questions about this document please contact Andrea Weddle, HIV Medicine Association (aweddle AT or Amy Killelea, TAEP (akillelea AT

Tell It Like It Is: Share your Health Care Access Stories

The HIV Meds Access Campaign is asking people living with HIV/AIDS to share their stories about accessing medication and health care services. These personal anecdotes help us creatively and effectively demonstrate to state and federal lawmakers why programs that provide medication and care are critical for people living with HIV/AIDS. Additionally, these stories generate media attention on the important role the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act (health care reform law) play in keeping HIV-positive people healthy.

Share Your Story Now!

The HIV Meds Access Campaign is comprised of AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Bienestar, Harlem United, Project Inform, and Southern AIDS Coalition.

Díganos su Historia sobre el acceso a medicamentos y servicios de salud
La campaña de acceso de medicamentos del VIH está pidiendo a personas que viven con VIH/SIDA a compartir sus historias sobre el acceso a medicamentos y servicios de salud. Estas anécdotas personales ayudan creativamente  y demuestran de una manera efectiva  a los legisladores estatales y federales por qué programas que ofrecen medicamentos y atención son críticos para personas que viven con VIH/SIDA. Además, estas historias generan la atención de los medios sobre el importante papel que desempeñan el Programa de Asistencia de Drogas de SIDA (ADAP), Medicaid y La ley de asistencia económica (Ley de reforma de salud) a mantener la salud de personas VIH-positivas.

Compartir su historia ahora!

La campaña de acceso de Medicamentos de VIH se compone de la AIDS Foundation of Chicago, BIENESTAR, Harlem United, Project Inform, y Southern AIDS Coalition.

Which Comes First? A Way to Talk About HIV & Economic Justice

Can having HIV make you poor?  Can being poor make you more likely to get HIV? 

Unfortunately, the answer to both questions is too often “yes.” 

A lot of tough conversations need to be had about the AIDS crisis and poverty if we are to make headway on either one.  Policymakers need to hear about the ways in which economic deprivation can limit people’s ability to protect themselves from HIV.  They need to hear how the design of medical services, ADAP, and housing programs for people living with HIV/AIDS can incentivize staying poor or getting sick in order to be eligible for much-needed benefits.  They need to hear how women in particular are impacted by economic disparities relating to HIV.  They need to hear it from you. 

Check out this fact sheet on HIV and economic justice from PWN, the Positive Women’s Network.  Their talking points are clear and easy to digest, without oversimplifying the complex relationship between the AIDS crisis and poverty. 

Read it, remember it: the more we can articulate the ways in which HIV-positive people are set up to fail economically, the stronger the movement for economic and HIV prevention justice becomes. 

Read more fact sheets and policy papers  from PWN here, or visit their homepage.

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Dose of Change is a place for AIDS advocates to build skills, share knowledge, and connect with one another. This site is a project of AIDS Foundation of Chicago made possible, in part, by generous support from AIDS United and the Levi Strauss Foundation.

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