Connecting HIV through social media

10th December 2015 by Ahmad Mahmoud

The introduction of social media has made it easier for people to share opinions about everything, and anything, on a global scale. Social networks have since evolved to progressively integrate more features and have turned into social platforms with the ability to host conferences, panels and advisory boards. Health professionals have started to recognise the importance of social media with often patient’s turning to social media to do research on their condition before they visit them. Symplur, an online platform, started their Healthcare Hashtag Project. This project aimed to connect everyone and anyone in healthcare through social media, by empowering decision-making with real-time access to insights from over a billion healthcare social media data points.

Healthcare Hashtags and HIVaids-ribbon

So how does it work? If you have an active interest in HIV, you may want to know the latest conversations or discussions surrounding this therapy area. Simply type "HIV" in the search box and you will be presented with the latest discussions, tweets and conferences associated with HIV that currently trending on social media. We've chosen two examples to share with you but there are many more available through the Healthcare Hashtag Project.

ICASA 2013

The International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) took place between the 7th – 11th December 2013. Participants were able to use the hashtag #ICASA2013 to discuss topics and engage with a wider audience relating to the conference and HIV. People could be directed to the conference simply by searching for `HIV` on the Symplur website, from which they would be shown all the conferences and discussion relating to HIV currently trending on social media. Symplur was able to track the amount of people participating in the conference online. Here is what they found.   Analytics: ICASA 2013 Analytics: 2,127,856Impressions 6,063Tweets 961Participants 63Avg Tweets/Hour 6Avg Tweets/Participant Source: Symplur Healthcare Analytics  

World AIDS Day 2015

Worlds Aids Day takes place annually on December 1st. This year, as with previous years, people from all over the world were able to come together in one massive platform under the hashtag #WorldAIDSDay. A massive 27,166 participants joined the discussions, that’s an increase of over 200% compared to the previous year, the analytics look pretty impressive.   Analytics: World AIDS day 2015 395,867,144Impressions 44,666Tweets 27,166Participants 1,861Avg Tweets/Hour 2Avg Tweets/Participant   Source: Symplur Healthcare Analytics


Symplur analytics show social media can reach out to a much wider HIV audience, allowing more people to participate and engage in conferences and discussions. This can open the doors to recognizing trends or gaps in various therapy areas, and help researchers connect with people and organisations who have similar interests and questions which could help redefine the therapy area. It’s definitely something check out.