Marking World AIDS Day this week (12/1), Twitter has announced an expansion of its search help prompts to now also include HIV-related information, which will see users who search for HIV and AIDS-related keywords shown new alerts that re-direct them to official health resources and information in the app.
As explained by Twitter:
“Today we launched another global expansion of our #ThereIsHelp notification service with a dedicated search prompt for HIV-related information across Asia Pacific and the Americas: Brazil, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, SP-Latam, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States. This notification prompt will provide valuable and authoritative resources around HIV and encourage people to reach out and get help when they need it.”
The new addition comes as health authorities around the world look to raise awareness of AIDS and HIV, with infection rates rising during the pandemic.
According to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, over the last decade, the number of people living with HIV around the world has increased from 30.7 million in 2010 to 38 million in 2019, while the restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 have made increasingly difficult for patients to receive adequate treatment in many regions, exacerbating the impacts.
World Aids Day marks another opportunity to ensure that HIV awareness remains front of mind, and reiterate that the battle against the virus is not over, despite significant advances in treatment in recent times.
In addition to this, Twitter’s also launching a special red ribbon hashflag to further boost awareness.
The hashflag, using the symbol for World AIDS day, will be automatically attached to tweets which use the relevant hashtag, and will be available from November 24th to December 5th.
This is an important push from Twitter, and health authorities around the world, because much like climate change, while other, more immediate concerns have dominated global consciousness in recent times, other, significant societal issues still exist, and are still causing major impacts, in many ways, outside the scope of the current pandemic.
Again, it can seem like we’re moving beyond the worst impacts of such, but we won’t be fully rid of them till we can all commit to doing our part to raise awareness, and mitigate risks that can amplify the spread.
World Aids Day is another reminder of this, and of the ongoing battle against this devastating disease.