“Why is Twitter trending Aids?” read a twitter status just a few minutes ago.
“Why are some some twitter status red?” read another.
The answer is simple, the Twitter world cares about World Aids Day.
I like how social media informs people. Twitter played a huge role in getting information out to the world during the #Iranianelections. Some have argued that the we cant fully vet all the status updates because they weren’t “journalistic” or from “reliable resources” – whatever THAT means.
I am fully embracing of how people seem to “care” online via their status’. Sharing links on HIV/Aids stories, sharing locations as to where people can get tested, Retweeting things they think others may find useful. The Red Campaign has made a deal w/ Twitter in which using #red on a tweet causes the color to change to a dark red. They are also encouraging people to change their profile pictures on Facebook to show solidarity towards the fight to help the Aids epidemic in Africa.
Can we measure the results? Maybe on the inside Facebook can see how many people change their profile pictures, or Twitter can add up how many people turn their status’ red… but how can we measure the social impact? Will Nike see more sales because they are also joining the movement with their “Lace Up Saves Lives” campaign in which shoe lace profits help the cause?
I’ve always been curious about corporations that like to do social responsibility work. The Facebook application has a video that states that it only costs 40cents a day to help someone obtain the medication they need to live with HIV in Africa. 40 cents a day.
This past weekend, I interviewed a young man living with AIDS, he told me his medication cost him $3,000 a month. Another young woman who I interviewed said she used her student loan money at the age of 19 to pay for her brothers Aids medication. He didnt have health insurance, and died before she returned for her sophomore year.
While Twitter, Facebook, and corporations try to do do good and just things, I cant help but think that our reality is much more than just a Twitter status. I cant help but feel that we need to do more to educate the American public that Aids is not an “Africa” disease.
I wonder when we will see news stories about people living with HIV and Aids here in the United States, and how its considered a “pre-existing condition” in which people can’t get access to healthcare.
Which really, makes me question the status of news pundits, tv programing or print stories that seem to want to call Obama’s healthcare reform a failure, rather than really tackle the issue.
I look at countries like Brazil and Thailand who have already broken pharmaceutical patents to distribute cheap and affordable HIV and Aids medication to their people, while, we, the Americans, want to feel good about our giving and awareness with brand names.
Sigh. Sometimes I think we really are doomed for being so ignorant.
#red #hcr #Aids