Web/Tech Feed

April 19, 2011


April is STD Awareness Month. Did you GYT?

By Rachel Kachur, MPH, Health Communication Specialist, Division of STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Encouraging the Development of Statewide HIV/AIDS Plans

April is STD Awareness Month.  Every year there are over 19 million new cases of STDs in the United States (CDC). Half of these new STD infections occur among young people ages 15 to 24 even though this age group makes up only 25% of the sexually active population. There are many negative outcomes of having an STD, including an increased risk for HIV infection. 

One way to make a difference during STD Awareness Month is to promote messages provided by GYT: Get Yourself Tested Exit Disclaimer. This sexual health campaign seeks to make testing for and talking about STDs routine among sexually active 15 – 25 year olds. Launched in 2009,  the campaign is a multi-media, youth-focused campaign developed in response to the 2008 data that one in four teens has an STD (Forhan et al., 2009).

Since its launch, GYT has reached well over one million people. The GYT partnership team,  which includes CDC’s Division of STD Prevention, MTV networks, the Henry Kaiser Family Foundation, and Planned Parenthood of America, has worked diligently to make it easy for both youth and those that serve youth to get involved with the campaign.

Here how you can access GYT resources:

  • Visit the campaign’s refreshed, updated website Exit Disclaimer. From there, you can download customizable posters, button, t-shirts and more, share social media elements, and upload pictures and success stories.
  • If you provide health services, visit the  website’s provider-specific page Exit Disclaimer. It contains resources and materials specifically for health care providers, such as guides on taking sexual histories and how to create a teen-friendly clinic.
  • You can also promote information specific to Chlamydia using the Chlamydia-specific microsite Exit Disclaimer. The interactive site answers frequently asked questions about Chlamydia.
  • To stay updated with current GYT events and news, become a fan of the GYT Facebook page Exit Disclaimer. The GYT Twitter Exit Disclaimer account allows for further dissemination of messages, promotes resources, and provides an easy way for other to share or “re-tweet” GYT messages.
  • A final aspect of the GYTNOW campaign is its short message service (SMS) texting code.  By texting a zip code to GYTNOW (498669), users will receive the names and phone numbers of nearby STD/HIV testing centers.

We encourage everyone to get involved with GYT – youth, CBOs, health care providers, health departments – anyone who supports empowering youth with the information and tools they need to make good health decisions.  It is easy to get involved with GYT!

For more information, go to www.gytnow.org Exit Disclaimer.

March 09, 2011


HHS Launches New Website: Stopbullying.gov

By Miguel Gomez, AIDS.gov Director

Today, HHS launches a new website called Stopbullying.gov. The site provides information from government agencies on how kids, teens, young adults, parents, educators, and others in the community can prevent or stop bullying. It also provides information on finding help if you, or someone you know, is being bullied.

In October 2010, we posted twice on the subject of bullying and teen suicide: HHS Secretary Addresses Bullying and Teen Suicide and The HHS Office of HIV/AIDS Policy on Bullying and Teen Suicide. As we noted in those earlier posts, for the HIV community, the issues of bullying and suicide and their effects on young people’s well-being and risk behaviors are critically important.

Help us save lives and protect health by visiting Stopbullying.gov and learning more.

January 20, 2011


National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition’s New Focus: New Media

By Venton Jones, Senior Program Associate for Communications and Member Education, National Black Gay Men's Advocacy Coalition (NBGMAC)* Exit Disclaimer

According to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, MSM (men who have sex with men) and racial and ethnic minorities are both disproportionately affected by HIV. We spoke with Venton Jones from The National Black Gay Men's Advocacy Coalition (NBGMAC)* Exit Disclaimer about his efforts to use new media to extend the reach of their programs. NBGMAC will be launching a new website later this month and Venton is working with their members to develop a social media plan and build the organization's social media presence. In this post, he tells us about his organization and why new media is important.

Here's what Venton had to say.

The National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition (NBGMAC) is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of Black gay men through advocacy that is focused on research, policy, education, and training.  In 2006, MSM accounted for more than half (53%) of all new HIV infections in the United States. Young Black MSM accounted for more new HIV infections than any other racial or ethnic age group of MSM (CDC, 2010).

New media (social networks, text messaging, blogs, wikis, etc.) is an important tool to help reduce new HIV infections and increase advocacy among Black gay men, and particularly young people. According to the Nielsen Co, U.S. users spend 23% of their time on the Internet using social networking platforms. Among social network usage, 85% of their usage is through Facebook (CRN, Exit Disclaimer 2010). Improving communications to its membership and broader constituency through these media, to drive community mobilization to achieve its policy agenda, has been a longstanding goal of NBGMAC.

Continue reading "National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition’s New Focus: New Media" »

January 18, 2011


Future Federal Directions in Mobile Technology and Health

By Jennie Anderson, AIDS.gov Communications Director, and Michele Clark, Managing Director

FHAWC Mobile health panel

Mobile health panel, L-R: Katelyn Sabochik, Audie Atienza, Gwynne Kostin, Susannah Fox.

What is the role of mobile technology in Federal government health communication? Where are we going?

At last week's Federal HIV/AIDS Web Council (FHAWC) meeting, we asked four of the leading voices in mobile and public health these questions. We heard from the White House, General Services Administration (GSA) (which works to coordinate Federal mobile activities), the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary's office, and The Pew Internet & American Life Project Exit Disclaimer.

We heard a snapshot of issues related to the Federal government and mobile. Here are some highlights (and we'll be sharing more information about this in the weeks to come):

Susannah Fox, Associate Director of Digital Strategy at The Pew Internet & American Life Project, kicked off the panel with a presentation on “Where is the Public Now? Mobile, Social, Games, Text…and Health” Exit Disclaimer. She shared that 80% of people look online for health information -- and that many people are accessing the internet on mobile phones and game consoles. According to Susannah, "If someone has access to the internet, it is likely becoming the first stop for information gathering and sharing." She underscored how the power of Internet and mobile together increase access and sharing. She also highlighted the increasing use of health-focused mobile applications and mobile-friendly websites. She noted how cell phones are perceived to be very personal, and that people frequently use them to search for sexual health information.

Continue reading "Future Federal Directions in Mobile Technology and Health" »

January 11, 2011


Federal HIV/AIDS Web Council: Grateful Collaboration

By Miguel Gomez, AIDS.gov Director, Deb LeBel, AIDS.gov Partnerships Specialist, and Cathy Thomas, AIDS.gov Technical Director


FHAWC members at the 2011 annual meeting in Washington, DC.

As we start the New Year, we're launching a series about new media planning. In upcoming weeks we'll be hearing from our community and Federal colleagues about steps they are taking to implement a new media strategy. At AIDS.gov we use new media strategies to provide access to Federal HIV information, policies (e.g. the National HIV/AIDS Strategy), programs, and resources. In order to best do this, we receive planning guidance from a cross-agency planning group called the Federal HIV/AIDS Web Council (FHAWC).

The Council includes Web, subject matter experts (content), and communications leads from over twenty programs, agencies and offices, representing HIV programs across the U.S. Government. Members plan and implement Federal new media efforts around HIV.  In addition, the Council promotes coordination and collaboration to improve delivery of HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, and treatment messages and services via new media.  The AIDS.gov team convenes the Council's monthly conference calls and coordinates an annual in-person meeting.

Continue reading "Federal HIV/AIDS Web Council: Grateful Collaboration" »


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