How to Stay Connected During a Pandemic as an HIV Advocate
During a pandemic, you may be wondering about the various ways to remain engaged, serve as a quality resource, and to continue to uplift those impacted in the community.
Serving as an HIV advocate is not a one size fits all matter. You can find multiple ways to show up for those you care for in a way that also best suits your interests.
Ways to stay connected to the HIV/AIDS community
HIV awareness days
There is a wide array of HIV awareness days that target marginalized populations throughout the year. Browse, mark your calendar, and attend the events that are feasible to you. As we are entering the fourth quarter of the year, take note of the following awareness days you can partake in. This will give you the opportunity to learn more about each population and how HIV may impact them.
- National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day - September 27th
- National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day - October 15th
- World AIDS Day - December 1st
Visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to research the additional national awareness days that occur annually.
One of the best methods to stay connected in community health is to take advantage of all the free educational opportunities that are available to you. The key to being a quality HIV advocate (or health advocate in general) is to be able to convey information that is relatable and understandable.
HIV.gov does a phenomenal job with keeping the community updated on upcoming webinars, Twitter chats, and conferences (that are virtual) as they relate to current events. Remaining informed will not only help you feel empowered but will also allow you to empower those seeking information from you in the best way possible.
In addition, social media can provide numerous advantages in health engagement such as the usage of blogs, online support groups, professional networking, and health promotion. In today’s climate, social media has evolved to be used as a major resource to promote HIV prevention and treatment, educate and/or interacting with the public, including but not limited to patients, other advocates, caregivers, and medical providers.
Advocates are important to the HIV/AIDS community
Health advocates aim to improve the health of the community they serve by determining the needs of their patients. If you consider yourself to be an HIV advocate, please know that you play a vital role in helping patients remain informed, feel supported, and navigate our healthcare system in a confident manner.
Do not let the pandemic discourage you from discovering online resources to stay updated. Instead, take advantage of the resources available to ensure you are well equipped to serve and be engaged as an HIV advocate the best way you can.
At what age were you diagnosed with HIV?