#ThereisHelp: LoveYourself, Twitter team up to provide credible info on HIV

December 1, 2021 - 9:21 PM
Mobile phone user
Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay

A Philippine-based non-profit organization has partnered with Twitter to help raise awareness on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among Filipinos.

LoveYourself Inc., one of the leading organizations in HIV awareness, is working with the microblogging platform for the #ThereIsHelp campaign that seeks to provide access to credible HIV-related information and help sources.

When Filipino users search for keywords associated with HIV on Twitter, the top search result will include a notification in local language that encourages them to reach out for credible information such as websites or hotlines of local authorities or organizations.

Twitter search prompt_HIV
Search prompt on Twitter about HIV-related keywords. (Twitter Philippines/Released)

The platform said that it will continue to work with health authorities and leading non-government organizations to ensure that the keywords generating the notification prompt remain relevant.

Typing the following keywords leads to the notification prompt: AIDS, HIV, PEP, PrEP, #KnowYourStatus and #LoveYourselfPH.

LoveYourself, Inc. is an organization that has established seven clinics which rank as the top most visited in the country for HIV screening.

The organization has also established 15 community centers all over the country in partnership with different local.

It assists 50,000 people yearly and around 50% of the newly diagnosed persons living with HIV in Metro Manila and 20% in the Philippines.

“LoveYourself, Inc. started its roots as a volunteer-based HIV organization with a single tweet that enabled Filipino Twitter users to have a safe space to talk about their sexual health until we could bring it down to the grassroots levels by establishing community centers and outreach programs and multi-platform campaigns,” Raybert Domingo, the organization’s director for communications and community development, said.

“The use of Twitter has been a primordial part of our awareness strategy to reach and mobilize key populations for HIV in the Philippines, and this partnership will undoubtedly provide tenfold of impact to the communities we serve as we continue to use the platform in influencing Filipinos’ mindset to nurture their self-
worth and take care of their sexual health as a way to love themselves,” he added.

Meanwhile, Twitter’s launching of the HIV-related prompt comes as the global community celebrates World AIDS Day on December 1.

Data from the platform shows that conversations about HIV spikes around World AIDS Day every year.

In 2020, there were close to nine million tweets about HIV globally, out of which over one million Tweets were generated on December 2020.

“We’re committed to protecting the health of the public conversation on Twitter — ensuring individuals can find credible information from authoritative sources is a key part of that mission. We also recognized that it is crucial for the public to have access to a free and #OpenInternet in combating the stigma around HIV,” Monrawee Ampolpittayanant, Twitter’s head of public policy, government and philanthropy for Southeast Asia, said.

“Therefore, we’ve partnered with public health authorities and local nonprofit organizations across Asia Pacific to provide people with access to accurate information about HIV, getting the help that they need, and launch dedicated #ThereisHelp notification prompt for HIV,” she added.

HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. If it is not treated, it can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS.

It can be transmitted through the exchange of a variety of body fluids from infected people, such as blood, breast milk, semen and vaginal secretions.

There is no cure for HIV, but it can be controlled through proper and supportive medical care.