AIDSspace.org: Supporting the global AIDS response through social networking

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AIDSspace.org: Supporting the global AIDS response through social networking

18 December 2009

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AIDSspace.org was launched on 24 November and will fulfil UNAIDS’ vision of an online community for the 33.4 million people living with HIV and the millions who are part of the AIDS response. AIDSspace.org was created to expand both informal and established networks to help maximize resources for a stronger response to the epidemic.

Modelled on popular social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, which have shown the potential of online word-of-mouth movements, AIDSspace.org fills the gap for an accessible and shared platform for the global AIDS community.

Through sharing the vast knowledge and experience out there, from the community organizations doing excellent work but do not have the resources to maintain a website to the PHD student wanting to publish their thesis, I know AIDSspace can bring us all together and will contribute towards a more cohesive and well informed AIDS response .

Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS

The site is built on three key principles: Connect, Share and Access. Through AIDSspace, members can meet and connect with other members to learn from their work, exchange ideas and discover new networks; post and share key policies, best practices, multimedia materials, reports and other essential resources; as well as access and post jobs, consultancies, requests for proposals, as well as reviews on service providers.

Since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, individuals, organizations, universities and government bodies have produced invaluable knowledge but most materials have remained separate on individual organization’s web sites or in databases.

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In applying a community content-generated approach, it is hoped that AIDSspace will capture this extensive knowledge and make information available to expand the reach and effectiveness of HIV professionals.

Speaking at UNAIDS’ governing body meeting earlier in December, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Mr Michel Sidibé, underlined the important role of AIDSspace in supporting the work of individuals and organizations working on HIV.

“Through sharing the vast knowledge and experience out there, from the community organizations doing excellent work but do not have the resources to maintain a website to the PHD student wanting to publish their thesis, I know AIDSspace can bring us all together and will contribute towards a more cohesive and well informed AIDS response,” he said.

Currently in testing mode, or Beta, AIDSspace is building its foundation of users, but has already been effective at disseminating reports and documents, building connections across the globe and organizing activists.

The AIDSspace team hopes to improve the site to meet the needs of the global AIDS community, including the creation of multilingual platforms. Through using the best information technology tools, the ambition of AIDSspace is assist the AIDS and broader development communities to make their work go even further.