Citizen Media and World AIDS Day

Dear All,

World AIDS Day is just about 10 days away. I have mixed feelings about the day. On the one hand, it can help create the illusion that we only need to think about AIDS one day out of the year and then somehow everything will get better. On the other hand, December 1st can be an attention-grabbing starting point for sustained campaigns that advocate for the rights of HIV-positive individuals, like the AIDS Rights Congo project is doing; spread preventive education with creativity, like the REPACTED project in Kenya does on a regular basis; and amplify the voices of marginalized communities, like the Drop-In Center in Ukraine.

Solana Larsen, the Managing Editor of Global Voices, the citizen media NGO of which Rising Voices is one project, is considering how Global Voices can best cover World AIDS Day and, furthermore, how citizen media can most effectively supplement the coverage of mainstream media in order to empower under-represented communities and strengthen the voices of AIDS-related NGO’s and activists.

Those of you who have been on this mailing list for a while will recall that the same question led to an online chat which was organized by Daudi Were and Serina. At the end of that chat a working group came together with the goal of writing a guide titled “Blogging Positively: How to Blog About AIDS.” Unfortunately, the guide itself has yet to materialize. If anyone would like to lead the effort to write the guide, please do contact me off-list.

But, to return to the question at hand, how should Global Voices cover World AIDS Day? One suggestion was to make a Google Map mashup of HIV-positive bloggers around the world to draw more attention to their voices and help create a global sense of community. Our Public Health Editor, Juhie Bhatia, will be searching the blogosphere for the best and most innovative content about World AIDS Day and by HIV-positive bloggers. If you have any suggestions, please do let us know.

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