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NEW DELHI: Twitter has introduced a search notification services to raise awareness and provide information about HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). The social media platform has partnered with National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) under the ministry of health, for the same.

Twitter’s initiative comes as 1 December is marked as the World AIDS Day, to raise awareness about the disease.

The search notification service is a part of Twitter’s ‘There is help’ initiative, which seeks to raise awareness and lead users searching on certain topics towards official resources and helplines. The notification appears in the search section of Twitter, and is automatically enabled when users search for specific keywords or hashtags linked to HIV or AIDS.

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Shagufta Kamran, who handles public policy at Twitter India, said, “We recognise that it is crucial for the public to have access to a free and open internet in combating the stigma around HIV. Therefore, we’ve partnered with public health authorities and local non-profit organisations across Asia Pacific to provide people with access to accurate information about HIV, and getting the help that they need."

Twitter has also partnered with Alliance India, Naz Foundation, Snehalaya, Swasti and Taaras Coalition to offer resources of assistance to those searching for HIV and AIDS-related information.

Other search notification initiatives by Twitter under the ‘There is help’ programmes include awareness efforts about suicide and child sexual abuse prevention, as well as covid-19 vaccination.

The Twitter AIDS notifications will be available for users in Brazil, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, SP-Latam, Taiwan, Thailand and USA.

For its HIV/AIDS campaign, Twitter has also introduced a limited-run red ribbon emoticon to mark conversations around the disease. The hashtag will appear alongside the #WorldAIDSDay tag and other related tags on Twitter, until 5 December.

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