- Written by Arjun Thakker, GlobalData's Analyst covering Infectious Diseases.
On December 1st each year, World AIDS Day gives people an opportunity to unite in the fight against HIV, to show their support for those infected, and honor those who have succumb to the disease. This year’s World AIDS Day theme will be "Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths". World AIDS Day, first held in 1988, is geared towards raising awareness, improving education, fighting stigma against the disease and raising funds to help with research and development of a cure. The Joint United Nations Program UNAIDS estimates that there are now more than 34 million people globally living with HIV. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), HIV is one of the world's leading infectious pathogens, claiming more than 25 million lives over the past three decades. Despite this level of impact, awareness of HIV/AIDS is still lacking. Social media could be a digital solution to this real problem.
Social media is a powerful educational tool. Organizations, health advocates, researchers, patients and healthcare providers have utilized this community-building tool to facilitate access to information, generate discussions, and build relationships. In practice, social media can help a panel of multilingual advocates educate the public on how to share their stories around the world, stay current with treatment options, and provide guidelines on how to protect themselves.