December 1 marks World AIDS Day, and every major social site around the Internet has come together to spread awareness about the disease, its transmission and available treatments.
Thanks to efforts from Facebook, Google, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube, AIDS is a more visible topic today than perhaps at any other point in the history of World AIDS Day. Read on to see what each site has done and the impact this joint campaign is having on users.
YouTube Live Streams a Concert with Alicia Keys
In partnership with the singer’s foundation, Keep a Child Alive, YouTube is live streaming an Alicia Keys concert starting at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific. The site is also asking suers to donate $5 toward medication and other support for these sufferers.
The site is also hosting and promoting this video about the Lazarus Effect, the seemingly miraculous results seen in HIV/AIDS patients given two pills of a specific medication – pills that are available at just 40 cents a day:
Flickr Asks How Users Are Living With AIDS
In a blog post and a group dedicated to those living with HIV/AIDS, Flickr asked its community of users to print a PDF emblazoned with the words “Facing AIDS” and incorporate it in a photograph to share with the world as part of an initiative with AIDS.gov.
Facebook, Google and Twitter Go (RED)
Both Facebook and Google have announced they’re working with (RED), a brand that helps raise awareness and money for the fight against AIDS in Africa.
Google set up a page just for today’s events for users to learn more about the global effort to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, to find volunteer opportunities in their area, to get involved with the ONE Campaign, to purchase (RED) products as holiday gifts and to unite with others at the Global Network of People Living with HIV.
Facebook asked users to change their profile pictures to (RED)-themed avatars, shop for (RED) products and join the (RED) Facebook page.
And Twitter, our generation’s megaphone, encouraged users to tweet certain terms, @usernames and hashtags, which would turn tweets red and have certain outcomes. For example, for tweets containing #red, @joinred, 40 cents, AIDS, World AIDS Day, HIV and #laceupsavelives would change the color of the text and help raise awareness with users across the site.
At press time, AIDS, HIV and World AIDS Day were all trending topics on Twitter.
The site is also offering a red profile theme. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone wrote that the site would be partnering with (PRODUCT)RED to raise funds, and 100 percent of funds raised would be used to help AIDS sufferers in Africa.
What Does a Social Media Campaign for AIDS Really Do?
In a Facebook blog post, (RED) CEO Susan Smith Ellis wrote, “Our success is very much owed to the emerging world of social media that exploded, just when we needed it. Like social media itself, with (RED) the power is not so much in the act of one individual but in the incredible power of the collective acts of individuals. In just over three years, over 1.5 million people have joined (RED) via a range of social media.”
Indeed, today’s efforts are a testament to the collective power of social media – and the power of all platforms united in the name of a single cause
So, what does all this social media buzz do for real-world sufferers and their families?
Ellis wrote of the (RED) campaign, “In three year… people’s choices have resulted in $140 million being contributed to the Global Fund, with 100 percent of that money going directly to helping fight AIDS in Africa. Millions of people like you together have created this impact.
“But it’s bigger than dollars. This money flows directly to AIDS grants that have already reached more than four million people with testing, counseling, AIDS treatment and services – programs that truly change lives.”