On the thirty-sixth anniversary of the CDC’s first reporting on what eventually would be called AIDS, AIDS.gov, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services’ portal to its HIV/AIDS informational resources, has changed its name to HIV.gov. True, “HIV” as a search term is used more often online than “AIDS.” However, the change in name seeks, more pointedly, to highlight our progress in the fight that has been ongoing for more than three decades, a fight that has made living with HIV, rather than progressing to an AIDS diagnosis, more achievable today than in the past thanks to early testing and treatment, tailored HIV meds, and an emphasis on self-care and community health. As the agency reports, there are more individuals living with HIV than with AIDS. More work needs yet to be done, however.
“The shift to HIV.gov is proactive and inclusive, and it sends a strong, supportive message to the 1.1 million people across America who are living with HIV,” stated Jonathan Mermin, MD, MPH, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, in a prepared release. “The number of annual HIV infections in the U.S. fell 18 percent between 2008 and 2014, but progress has not been the same for all communities. HIV.gov will deliver current science, accurate information and links to effective resources for the people who need them most.”
According to the site’s own statistics reporting, more than 8 million people visited AIDS.gov and its related social media channels. Along with HIV basics, an outline of the federal response, a list of awareness days and related events, and links to news and resources, a page called “Positive Spin” relates the stories of indviduals living with HIV/AIDS or who do not know their serostatus, along the continuum of care. Additionally, the site offers insights into how to utilize digital tools for advocacy and education. It even offers social media training via virtual office hours. The site itself is now more mobile-friendly and connected to an array of social media platforms.
Visit www.HIV.gov and follow its related social media channels.