World AIDS Day efforts utilize youth, new media

WASHINGTON: A number of organizations are executing campaigns to keep HIV prevention in focus for World AIDS Day on December 1. MTV, the Global AIDS Alliance, and AIDS.gov are three organizations developing PR for the campaigns, ranging from rallies in Washington to new media initiatives.

WASHINGTON: A number of organizations are executing campaigns to keep HIV prevention in focus for World AIDS Day on December 1. MTV, the Global AIDS Alliance, and AIDS.gov are three organizations developing PR for the campaigns, ranging from rallies in Washington to new media initiatives.

MTV's decade-old “Staying Alive” HIV and AIDS prevention campaign kicked off the World AIDS Day PR campaign on November 6 at the European Music Awards, said Seema Alibhai, director of corporate communications for MTV Networks International. PR aspects include PSAs about safe sex and a presence on MySpace and Facebook. It is handling PR in-house.

“We have a ready-made audience,” Alibhai said of its 15- to 24-year-old target audience. “This is an issue that fits with the MTV demographic.”

Its PR tactics also include the promotion of the documentary The Diary of Kelly Rowland, which follows the singer as she visits Africa and goes through AIDS testing. Rowland will also participate in media interviews about her experience.

The federal HIV/AIDS awareness initiative, AIDS.gov, is using online tools for its effort “to show the faces of people who are supporting HIV/AIDS and willing to stand up and talk about it.” It launched “Facing AIDS,” a Flickr-based program, complemented by Facebook and MySpace, said Jennie Anderson, a consultant at public health consulting firm John Snow, and communications director for AIDS.gov.

The Global AIDS Alliance's World AIDS Day targeted reporters and local communities with the message that “even with the economic downturn, we need to keep these promises with AIDS programs,” said David Bryden, the communications director for the Alliance, which handles PR in-house. The effort also hosted a rally on November 20 in Washington to remind the public of President-elect Barack Obama's pledges toward AIDS programming.

Additionally, W Hotels is hosting events countrywide to highlight its new partnership with online music service (RED)WIRE, which benefits The Global Fund. It is working with AOR Think PR to reach music trade publications and lifestyle media to discuss the partnership, said Carlos Becil, VP of global brand management for W Hotels Worldwide.

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