NASTAD, The National Alliance of State and Territorial Aids directors, maintains a blog on wordpress.com that facilitates communication, collaboration and support in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It also serves as a voice for the states and plays a role in advocacy. The frequently updated blog and website also administers to HIV/AIDS victims. It provides resources and prevention methods, such as information about the clean needle exchange. The design of the blog is very well organized and allows the user to pinpoint an exact article or piece of information as well as select a category of blog entry and the month desired. There is a search bar, and every section is categorized, allowing information, such as the clean needle exchange, to be found quickly and easily.

The community that NASTAD targets is primarily state and territorial health departments, but they also work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).  As a result of poor federal funding for needle exchange programs in the U.S., HIV/AIDS programs found it increasingly necessary to speak with one voice directed at interactions with federal funding agencies. NASTAD’s effort of their single blog and website is to work as a simple medium for HIV/AIDS agencies trying to connect at federal level.  NASTAD’s blog serves the nation not only with crucial information and as a representation to federal agencies of what is needed for the HIV/AID epidemic, but also as an outlet for staff and peer support.

The primary audience of the NASTAD website and blog are the members (both the AIDS directors and other health department staff working in HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis programs). They also have a significant global program currently supporting activities in several African countries and Haiti. Additionally, the blog caters to an audience of potential and existing HIV/AIDS victims by providing direct services and clean needle exchange. Users can utilize the blog and website to educate themselves and seek the necessary help for prevention of a specific disease.

Over the last decade, NASTAD has succeeded in reaching their desired audience and facilitating the communication and advocacy needed. The national peer network, created by NASTAD, has enabled AIDS directors to come together to collaborate on issues affecting all jurisdictions as well as support one another in learning how to handle policy, planning, evaluation issues, prevention, care programs and services.

NASTAD is currently working to revamp their website to allow easier interaction and make it more user friendly. They created a Facebook page and are on Twitter to reach out to a wide range of audiences who may not all be associated with the NASTAD blog.

Interviewee:

Natalie O. Cramer
NASTAD
Associate Director of Prevention

Advertisements