Event Highlights - (How to Get Away with) Murder, Media, Insight and Impact: An Evocative Dialogue on PrEP

PrEP is paving a path across the nation and globally. HIV, PrEP, and same-gender relationships are being showcased in the mainstream media, most notably in a storyline in ABC’s hit primetime show How to Get Away with Murder (HTGAWM). Online and offline, people are talking about topics that are often relegated to niche-communication outlets. How can we seize this moment and apply novel strategies to increase PrEP awareness, access, and use?

Powering the PrEPosition: (How to Get Away with) Murder, Media, Insight & Impact tackled the intersection of public discourse on HIV and PrEP in entertainment, the mainstream media, digital publishing, and social media. PTP Short Evite

  • Kate Folb, Director, Hollywood Health & Society, will discuss the impact of education entertainment as it relates to the show.
  • Susan Wolfson, Managing Director, Strategic Initiatives, AIR, will present highlights of a content analysis of coverage, conversation and commentary triggered by the show's PrEP storyline, applying AIR’s Precision Communication Approach.
  • JD Davids, Managing Editor, TheBody.com, will lead participants in discussion on bridging television, social media, the clinic and the bedroom in this moment of re-emerging public interest in HIV.


Alex Barros, Caitlin Conyngham, Dazon Dixon Diallo, Daniel Driffin, Donna Futterman, M.D., Damon Jacobs, Venton Jones, Arianna Lint, Ken Mayer, M.D., Leandro Mena, M.D., Jim Sacco, Patrick Sullivan, Ph.D., Kellee Terrell, Miriam Y. Vega, Ph.D.

Follow us on Twitter @Health_AIR using the hashtag #PoweringPrEP.


AIR is conducting a research project to evaluate people’s knowledge, attitudes and beliefs around using social media as a tool in PrEP education and promotion. Other study goals are to 1) progress AIR’s Precision Communication Approach, and 2) assess the impact of the Powering the PrEPosition satellite program taking place in conjunction with the National HIV Prevention Conference (NHPC) on December 6. This will be achieved via three surveys that aim to answer the following overarching questions:

  • Do you think that social media is being used effectively for PrEP education?
  • Do you think that social media can influence health behaviors?
  • Do you use/feel comfortable with social media as a health education tool?
  • Do you identify with people who use social media for health education?

The first survey will be distributed before the Powering the PrEPosition event via the program registration form to assess baseline knowledge, attitudes and beliefs prior to event participation.  The second survey will be distributed at the event following the program presentations to capture further data and assess whether there was a detectable change in knowledge, attitudes and beliefs following program participation. The third survey will be distributed via the web and/or email to expand our respondent pool.

Precision Communication is a disciplined approach to identify the communication vectors and channels most likely to lead specific segments along the “awareness-behavior change” continuum, and to identify the best traditional and digital metrics to track and evaluate change. To that end, AIR hopes to use the survey findings to develop and deliver key messaging via Twitter in mid-January over the course of one month. This intervention would serve as a pilot study on the implementation of precision communication techniques in the HIV and PrEP space, particularly regarding the desired outcomes, including awareness, understanding, acceptance, action and adherence, and effective use of social media for PrEP education and messaging. We anticipate multiple uses for the related insights, including potential to inform relevant communication TA services in the future.

Event Information

December 6, 2015
7:45 PM - 7:45 PM ET