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U.S. News

Battling HIV, via Tweets and Text Messages

August 7, 2012

Public health officials are harnessing social media as a way to get information about HIV and other STDs to a wired generation.

"That's the way people connect and communicate," said Peter Carr, manager of the Minnesota Department of Health's STD and HIV Section. "We need to be in touch with that."

Tools like YouTube and Google+ can reach large audiences with testing, symptom, and prevention information. Facebook and Twitter can be accessed by people without computers on their mobile devices, noted Tina Hoff, a spokesperson for the Kaiser Family Foundation.

"When something goes viral, you've reached millions of people in a day," said Simon Rosser, a University of Minnesota researcher who presented research on social media at the 19th International AIDS Conference.

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