The Prevention Revolution: HIV Prevention on the social media agenda on World AIDS Day

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The Prevention Revolution: HIV Prevention on the social media agenda on World AIDS Day

03 December 2010

UNAIDS teamed up with MTV Staying Alive Campaign to put HIV prevention on the global agenda through social media. Over a six week period in the lead up to World AIDS day the ‘#PreventionRevolution’ campaign inspired thousands of online conversations on the need to revitalize interest in HIV prevention.

Under the banner “More than 7000 new HIV infections every day is unacceptable. We need a Prevention Revolution”, the key word or hashtag #PreventionRevolution became one of the most popular on the social media site Twitter during World AIDS Day.

Based on a network approach, where the idea is to mobilize influencers—people who have many connections in a given social network—the prevention revolution community started reaching out to celebrities as well as friends to share the message. UNAIDS in collaboration with partners mobilized people both online and off line, and with support from the United Nations in New York and Cosponsors UNHCR, UNICEF, UNDP, World Bank, UNESCO and UNFPA, thousands of people worldwide joined the conversations.

A series of videos that were produced for the campaign, embedded below, reached over 120,000 views on YouTube.

On World AIDS Day, using the hashtag #PreventionRevolution, people shared personal stories, encouraged each other to use condoms, get tested and educated themselves about HIV. As one person on Twitter put it: “When was your last test? Go get tested! Join the prevention revolution” while another tweeted:For me it’s every day World AIDS Day—A prevention revolution? It starts at home. Take a stake in the fight!

Organizations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ONE, Oxfam, UN, UNHCR and celebrities Annie Lennox, Craig David, Bianca Gonzalez and the band 30 Seconds to Mars together sent out the message that an HIV prevention revolution is needed to almost 3 million people on World AIDS Day.

Key partner MTV Staying Alive also conducted live interviews via Twitter under the Prevention Revolution and MTV Get Tested banners with musicians Peter Wentz, Travis McCoy and the group Good Charlotte who together have over 3.5 million followers on Twitter.

The campaigns also owes its success to individuals who have 20, 50, 100, or 200 followers of Twitter and Facebook who asked their friends to take part in the call for a prevention revolution. The social media blog Mashable featured the campaign in their social good section and subsequently asked their 2 million followers on Twitter to “Start a #PreventionRevolution this World AIDS Day.”

As the world woke up on 2 December, the conversation was still going, but the message had changed: “World AIDS Day is over – the epidemic is not! We still need a Prevention Revolution.” UNAIDS will now explore ways that this movement can be built upon and leveraged in the coming months.