Visualizing a world without HIV/AIDS

Visualizing a world without HIV/AIDS
Dec 1, 2020
ICF’s creative team sets the tone for December 1, World AIDS Day.

A successful public health campaign gets noticed. But more importantly, it gets results. That’s why—for the last four years—the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention Communication Branch (DHAP PCB) has depended on ICF’s public health communications team to develop its web and social media messaging.

“Stopping the spread of HIV requires an understanding of how interventional materials are received,” explains Tejal Vashi, ICF's data manager for this project. “This necessitates a methodological approach to data collection and analysis, which then informs the materials and campaigns we produce.”

“Every day, I’m excited to work with this amazing staff to stop the spread of HIV. What we do directly guides CDC’s course of action.”
— Tejal Vash

It starts with the overarching theme, which for this World AIDS Day, is Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact. Rosland Martin, ICF’s lead writer and editor for the PCB, then gets to work. She crafts content that is meaningful, written in plain language, and resonates with the audience.

“I believe that ending the HIV epidemic is within our collective reach. Working on this project affords me the opportunity to directly contribute to such an important goal.”
— Rosland Martin

The visuals, of course, aren’t far behind. For this, the PCB’s World AIDS Day campaign turns to one of our lead designers, Brittany Petish. Each asset—logo, poster, and social media graphic—provides useful information about ending the HIV epidemic. They are also colorful and fluid to inspire hope, reflecting the concept that success will come if we all work together. “When I design for any awareness day, I’m mindful of inclusion,” Brittany explains. Although the risk factors are the same for everyone, African Americans make up 42% of new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. So, it’s important that anyone can appreciate—and see themselves in—the messaging.

“I’m happy to be a part of a team who so passionately contributes to these efforts. I love knowing each day I can make a difference.”
— Brittany Petish

Well-designed, thoughtful content increases the likelihood that audiences will adhere to HIV messaging around staying safe and healthy. It’s a tried-and-true approach this team used most recently on February 7, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, where our social media content received the highest number of social media channel ‘likes’ and shares across CDC HIV posts. And it allows both our team and—more importantly—our clients to better understand and guide HIV prevention efforts in real time.

This work also dovetails nicely with—a website we initially designed in 2005 as, then turned into the first mobile federal website in 2017. And it complements the digital storytelling we created for Positive Spin in 2016. Because a goal as ambitious as ending the HIV epidemic requires an innovative, effective multi-pronged approach.

Learn more about ICF careers for communicators to make real change in every aspect of public health, including HIV, the opioid epidemic, and smoking cessation.

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