Blogging Positively: Observing World AIDS Day Via Tweets

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV(AIDS) in anyway they can. On December 1, 2011 Rising Voices invited global users to tweet about how World AIDS Day is being commemorated in different communities. The hashtags #WAD11 and #WorldAIDSDay was already being used to provide a snapshot of what is happening around the world on this theme. Rising Voices recommended use of the hashtag #BlogPos and #WAD11 and encouraged tweets in any language mentioning the country.

We expected that the tweets may include information about:

* How is your community commemorating World AIDS Day?

* What are some of the ongoing issues related to HIV/AIDS facing your community?

* What are you doing to help fight stigma or raise awareness in your community?

* What role does citizen media play in the fight against HIV/AIDS?

Indian college students light candles on the eve of World Aids Day at India's northeastern capital of Agartala. Image by Arindam Dey. Copyright Demotix

Here are some of the Twitter messages sent out on that day. Some carried personal messages:

@T4AApparel: #blogpos #WAD2011 we raise awareness for HIV one tie dye tee at a time!

@mammysou: Create a generation free of HIV. #WorldAIDSDay #Blogpos

@AdVerse4490: The LGBT community is at-risk for HIV in T&T. Not because of unsafe sex, but unsafe spaces. LGBT Discrimination = HIV #WAD2011 #BlogPos

@Zeyadsalem: (Zeyad Salem) Imagine a person w a chronic disease and cannot speak up coz people would defame him and deny him the care he needs #WorldAIDSDay #Blogpos

@3awadalla: (Ahmed Awadalla) I was tweeting about HIV/AIDS today as it's #WorldAIDSDay. Remember to fight the disease but not people living with the disease. #BlogPos

@patientopinion: RT @NHSinform: It's World AIDs Day! #WAD 30 yrs on and still no cure for HIV – prevention remains vital

@NelsonMandela: “Yet we spend more money on weapons than on ensuring treatment and support for the millions infected by HIV” #NelsonMandela 2005 #WAD

@HydeiaBroadbent: (Hydeia Broadbent) Stop thinking there is an image associated with AIDS. You can't tell by looking at someone if they have AIDS #WAD

Some had explanations:

@risingvoices: What is #BlogPos? Short for “Blogging Positively,” coined by @mentalacrobatic to describe how citizenmedia can play a role in HIV/AIDS field

Maureen Kirigo, community officer with Widows and Orphans International, holds a ballon symbol of World Aids Day at the youth sexual health showcase in North East London. Image by Elsie Kibue. Copyright Demotix.

Some Tweets shared news:

@georgiap: (Georgia Popplewell) Trinidad & Tobago's Ministry of Health is conducting a 12-day HIV testing drive. Info at #BlogPos #WAD11

@mentalacrobatic: (Daudi Were) Kenya’s national commemoration of #WorldAidsDay moved from Nairobi to Kisumu for 2011 #BlogPos

@UNAIDS : Africa leads the way, 22 countries reduced new infections by a quarter. But 70% of all new HIV infections are in Sub-Saharan Africa. #WAD

@hausofjay: (Marry The Night) Lady Gaga, the voice of M•A•C's campaign in the fight against HIV/AIDS, has raised more than $55 million, in support of those affected. #WAD

@UNDP_Europe_CIS (UNDP Europe and CIS) 1/2 of #HIV infections in #EasternEurope & #CentralAsia in 2010 were due 2 drug users sharing needles #WAD

Some Tweets shared links to blog posts and stories:

@serina_k Serina: Tribute to Ruthie, an AIDS orphan #BlogPos #WAD11

@risingvoices: Egyptian blogger @3awadalla shared stories about the challenge of fighting HIV/AIDS stigma. #BlogPos #WAD11

@iSchoolAfrica: Thanks! “@risingvoices: Great work by young citizen journalists from @iSchoolAfrica in S.Africa on #WAD11 #BlogPos”

@stephenfry (Stephen Fry) Many good places to visit to remind yourself about how dangerous as prevalent HIV still is & #WAD

Videos and podcasts:

@sirajdhaka: (Shahjahan Siraj) Bangladesh live channel #BlogPos #WAD2011.

@UNDP_Europe_CIS: (UNDP Europe and CIS) Condoms can save your life in more ways than you think – check out this video from #Montenegro #HIV #WAD

@solanasaurus: The @globalvoices podcast marks #WAD11 w/ activists in #Kenya and #Egypt on sexual health education #BlogPos

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