Bloggers Unite For 20th Anniversary of World AIDS Day

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BlogCatalog is partnering with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of HIV/AIDS Policy's AIDS.gov (AIDS.gov) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for "Bloggers Unite for World AIDS Day 2008" on Dec. 1. This event encourages bloggers from around the world to dedicate their blog posts on December 1, 2008 (World AIDS Day) to issues related to HIV/AIDS. The goal is to leverage the power of the blogosphere to remind people that HIV/AIDS is still a critical issue in the U.S. and around the world, and to promote HIV testing.

I spend considerable time getting to know our members and I know that many of them are in this high at-risk age group or have children who are

BlogCatalog.com, a fast growing social network for bloggers, is partnering with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy's AIDS.gov (AIDS.gov) for "Bloggers Unite for World AIDS Day 2008" on Dec. 1.
 
The campaign asks bloggers from all over the world to post about HIV and AIDS on Dec. 1. Bloggers Unite is led by more than 150,000 individually approved BlogCatalog bloggers.
 
"World AIDS day is well suited for bloggers who have their hearts in the right place, because awareness is paramount," said Tony Berkman, president of BlogCatalog, which began the BloggersUnite initiative to launch social awareness campaigns last year. "Right now, it's estimated that 250,000 people in the United States are HIV positive and are not even aware of it."
 
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are an estimated one million Americans living with HIV in the United States and an estimated 33 million people living with HIV worldwide. Berkman said he knew BloggersUnite had to become proactive in World AIDS Day 2008 after learning that a significant percentage of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses are among people 13 to 24 years of age.
 
"I spend considerable time getting to know our members and I know that many of them are in this high at-risk age group or have children who are," said Berkman. "I'm hopeful that our member-driven social awareness campaign that is conceived, promoted, and supported by tens of thousands of bloggers will encourage non-members to help raise awareness too. It's an issue that touches us all."

Berkman said even if only 10 percent of the Blog Catalog members participate in Bloggers Unite for World AIDS Day, their posts will be read by an estimated 4 million blog readers. If approximately half participate, the campaign will reach 20 million, not counting conversations that result on social networks like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter.

World AIDS Day is the day recognized by individuals and organizations from around the world to bring attention to the global AIDS epidemic. This year is the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day and will be supported by social media efforts being undertaken by AIDS.gov, NIDA, and many other organizations.
 
"Our goal is to leverage the power of the blogosphere to remind people that HIV/AIDS is still a critical issue in the U.S. and around the world, and to promote HIV testing," said Miguel Gomez, director of AIDS.gov.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction.
 
AIDS.gov is an initiative of the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It provides information from the federal government about HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, treatment, research, and using new media in response to HIV/AIDS.

BloggersUnite is an initiative of BlogCatalog. Since last year, BlogCatalog has evolved from a blog directory into member-driven online community for bloggers. More than 150,000 approved bloggers interact on BlogCatalog every day.
 
BloggersUnite: http://unite.blogcatalog.com
National Institute on Drug Abuse: http://nida.nih.gov
AIDS.gov: http://aids.gov
World AIDS Campaign: http://worldaidscampaign.org

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ANTONY BERKMAN
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