What more can be said about AIDS? December 2013


Each year an Israeli Health Ministry committee reviews the current healthcare “basket,” which includes all the services, medications, supplies and medical equipment that every resident is entitled to receive under the country’s National Health Insurance Law. The committee evaluates the range of medical services that are subsidized and sets policy for the year to come. Ahead of the meeting on the 2014 healthcare basket, Neopharm, a diversified health care company, asked us to raise awareness of a new drug for HIV carriers called Stribild. The new pill combines four medications into a single tablet taken once daily, which has been found to increase compliance to treatment.

The challenge: After more than three decades in the news, AIDS is now a very familiar story. Finding something new to say about it is difficult, but the topic must not be allowed to disappear from the public agenda.

Our strategy: Once a fatal disease, AIDS has since become a chronic condition, and therefore the main concern becomes the carriers’ quality of life, which can be improved by improving their compliance with the medication regimen. This message – that it’s possible to live with AIDS – served as one of the main drivers in the media campaign we led.

The month-long campaign centered on a joint project between the Israel AIDS Task Force and the leading news website in Israel - Ynet, during which the site ran a special section on the home page of its Health section. Titled "AIDS/HIV Awareness Month," the section included professional articles, blogs by carriers, features, videos, and a live hosted forum – along with a clear message to go get tested.

The campaign’s purpose was to debunk the myths that (still) abound about the disease and carriers of the virus, and to offer ways to cope with the condition and learn more about the new therapies coming out. The main messages emphasized awareness and the crucial importance of getting tested and finding the best treatment regimen.

Over the course of a month, the site’s special section drew 232,959 visitors, of whom 166,958 were unique visitors; average reading time per article was 7:35 minutes; and 1,244 users shared articles on Facebook.

Neopharm also participated in an Internet survey about HIV, methods of prevention and treatment, which was published by the Israel AIDS Task Force. The survey found that 64% of carriers would prefer the option of taking a single pill a day.

Alongside the project on Ynet, we promoted reports through other media about the latest advances in treatment and the resulting improvement in carriers’ quality of life, more than 30 years after the virus was first identified.

The outcome: Stribild was included in Israel’s 2014 basket of healthcare services.


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