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HIV and H1N1 on Social Media (2012)


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HIV and H1N1 on Social Media (2012)

  1. 1. Social Media, Infectious Disease, & Public Health: Comparing HIV and H1N1 prevention Denise Silber (Basil Strategies, Paris), Nataly Pletneva & Celia Boyer (HON Foundation,Geneva) Facebook Around 20 000 FB users “like” BornHIVfree group. —> “H1N1 vaccination” search in FB reveals that most popular groups are against the vaccination campaign. Google BornHIVfree BEFORE (6 months) 19.11.2009 - 18.05.2010 657,000 DURING 19.05.2010 - 05.10.2010: 963,000 AFTER (1 month) 06.10.2010 - 05.11.2010: 353,000 H1N1 vaccination BEFORE (6 months) 01.04.2009 - 30.09.2009: 1,890,000 DURING 01.10.2009 -31.03.2010: 2,030,000 AFTER (1 month) 01.04.2010 - 01.05.2010: 518,000 —> BornHIVFREE: impact on occurrences. - CDC: impact not measurable. Flickr BornHIVfree 297 searching results on Flickr (226 are by Global Fund) ( ( —> CDC ehealth shows 35 results on Flickr. All of them display the promotional materials of H1N1 vaccination campaign. Youtube BornHIVfree, actively supported by Youtube has its own channel with 8800 subscribers and 17 689 744 views (14 mln at the end of campaign and still growing). Keyword bornHIVfree: 348 occurrences including 30 campaign videos, listed among the first in the search results by popularity. —> About 20 million people watched BornHIVFree's videos on its website and YouTube, the Global Fund said3 . H1N1 vaccination Keyword “H1N1 vaccination”: 6400 videos. The first-ranked by popularity are : 1) SWINE FLU H1N1 VaCciNe "The Truth" 4537331 views 2) Flu Shot Disables Beautiful Cheerleader (Dystonia Disorde 1096126 views) 3) Makers Of Vaccine Refuse To Take H1N1 766870 views —> Leading videos are all against vaccination.. Twitter BornHIVfree is not accessible anymore on Twitter, but it had 1990 followers. No info for H1N1 vaccination. Introduction Since traffic on the Internet is dominated by social media platforms, two key public health subjects in 2010, both related to infectious disease, H1N1 grippe and HIV mother to child transmission, were frequent subjects on Facebook, Youtube and others. We examined to what extent public health institutions are present on these platforms. Background H1N1: The 2009 flu pandemic tapered off in November 2009 and was declared over on the 10th August 20101 . During the pandemic, the CDC, as did other governmental organs around the world, recommended that the public and professionals be vaccinated. HIV: The Global Fund used social media between May 19 and October 5, 2010 to involve citizens in various countries in the fight against mother to child transmission. The Global Fund reminded us that in Africa 400,000 babies were born with HIV in 2009, despite our ability to eradicate the transmission2 . Method 1. We compared occurrences of keywords on Google and leading Social Media platforms, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, during the periods in which: a) the CDC communicated to Americans regarding H1N1 vaccination and b) the Global Fund communicated regarding mother to child transmission of HIV via a new « brand » Bornhivfree which we were able to follow. 2. We compared a) the number of users “in favor” and b) the number who watched. Results Conclusions Some related information: For 2010-2011 CDC launched video/image content “Flu ends with you” CDC social media toolkit example of 2009/10 H1N1 campaign an example of another H1N1 campaign References 1. “WHO | H1N1 in post-pandemic period” Retrieved 2010_ 2. The Global Fund 2010: Innovation and Impact. Retrieved 2010_ 3. AFP: 700,000 sign HIV funding petition: campaign. Id=CNG.d1f8700c150cf024d03251a9cdc0319a.391. Retrieved 2010_ BornHIVfree was successful in creating positive “buzz”. The CDC alone was unable to impact negative opinions nor significantly increase the share of positive information. These results may be biased in that “mother to child transmission” is not currently as controversial as the H1N1 vaccination. However, health policy makers should develop social media competency, for epidemiology, communication, and dialogue. Author contact information: Denise Silber Twitter: @health20paris email: