Campaign Improves Knowledge of HIV Care

By Genevieve Valek

Feb. 22, 2018 — For Illinois HIV Care Connect, Valek and Co. developed the #StayInCare communication campaign, which calls attention to the importance of staying in care toward achieving HIV viral suppression – a low level of HIV in the blood.

Staying in care, or retention in care, is defined as having two visits during a calendar year – spaced two to six months apart – with an HIV doctor or medical provider. Valek & Co. works in partnership with the Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA), a client since 2007, on Illinois HIV Care Connect outreach and media activities funded by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Implementing the campaign involved developing new content and attractive graphics for the Illinois HIV Care Connect website ( Valek and Co. also posted social media messages, including graphics and videos, on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. The #StayinCare Quiz was designed to help educate people living with HIV about the importance of getting in care and staying in care to live well. More than 140 individuals accessed the eight-minute quiz, with about one-half of all participants completing it. Respondent data show that individuals increased their knowledge of the importance of staying in care after reviewing the content and taking the quiz.

Valek & Company’s Genevieve Valek wrote the scripts and served as the spokesperson in three #StayInCare videos, which covered topics such as the #StayInCare Quiz and the importance of regular medical appointments and taking anti-HIV medications.

Valek & Co. conducted media outreach to spread the #StayInCare message to several Illinois outlets. Amanda Vinicky from Illinois Public Radio interviewed Illinois HIV Care Connect’s Michael Maginn and the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine’s Don Hunt about the importance of staying in care. They discussed the new #StayinCare quiz, the barriers and benefits of staying in care, and how Illinois HIV Care Connect can help positive individuals to get the treatment and support they need. During the November-to-March campaign period, the #StayinCare pages were among the most commonly viewed on the website, which has about 25,000 pageviews per year.


@ Valek & Company 2016