The Youth AIDS Diary began as a class project for the Biology of HIV/AIDS class at the small liberal arts college of Davidson, located in North Carolina. The interactive website was created to provide a voice to today’s youth, who are the first generation to have lived their entire lives in the presence of HIV/AIDS. Brought to the XIX International AIDS conference in Washington, DC this past summer, the project quickly jumped from the community level to the international level, with hundreds of submissions from around the world linked together in a web of personalized stories linked around the fight against AIDS.
The conference center where the project was presented was also home to other organizations from across the globe – women from Kenya promoting the female condom, a group from Indonesia fighting for the rights of sex workers, to a Netherlands-based organizations demanding access to condoms – all trying to bring their small, localized movements to the globalized level. Like the Youth AIDS Diary, many of the movements were based around some type of social media campaign.
The conference held numerous discussions about the importance of social media resources, such as blogs, twitter, and facebook to disseminate information to a broad network.As Inda and Rosaldo point out, “Digital networks provide the technological infrastructure for the emergence of contemporary network-based social movement forms” (30 Inda). The fight against HIV/AIDS has become globalized in great part due to the ease of information flow and movement to spread education through many sources of social networks and media resources.
Although each community must localize their AIDS fight, the conference became an epicenter of prevention and education tactics, to fight AIDS. The globalized focus on digitalization of prevention movements and the need for the spread of knowledge demonstrates the need to combat AIDS as a global force, but also the spread of technology and ideas from west to east and everywhere in between.