Columbus Public Health HIV Influencers Campaign

Raising up LGBTQIA+ voices - and at-home HIV testing by 98%

Talking openly about HIV testing, safe sexual practices, and staying in treatment? It can be intimidating. That’s why Columbus Public Health of Ohio teamed up with KW2 to identify and mobilize a team of talented, local LGBTQIA+ influencers, and fill their feeds with authentic stories of HIV prevention, testing, and treatment.


Over the years, KW2’s partnership with Columbus Public Health has brought real representation and reach to the organization’s Know HIV No Fear campaign—extending HIV safety and anti-stigma messaging across billboards and bus wraps to radio, video, digital ads and more. But secondary research and our own focus groups told us LGBTQIA+ audiences, including men of color who have sex with men, are tired of feeling targeted by public service campaigns. So, we flipped the script, supporting our traditional media efforts with a “for us, by us” social media influencer campaign designed to reach and teach the Columbus LGBTQIA+ community from within.


We worked closely with our partners Columbus Public Health to identify active HIV champions in the Columbus area community. Over 2 months, the KW2 team built trusting, long-distance relationships with LGBTQIA+ activists, influencers, and equity-minded leaders, especially within the city’s underrepresented populations and communities of color. Participating influencers needed to meet specific social media engagement thresholds and adopt clearly defined content best practices and standards. KW2 developed a slate of customizable social media messages, hashtags and campaign graphics to support the content creators and maintain the client’s brand standards. We also provided each influencer with a UTM tracking code to measure their traffic, goals, and conversions.


Powered by fun and fiercely honest posts from January to June of 2021, Columbus Public Health’s influencer campaign resulted in a 98% increase in at-home HIV tests and a 7.5% increase in campaign engagement on influencer channels. In all, our team of content creators reached more than 120,000 followers within the city of Columbus. And in follow-up focus groups, the feedback was clear: community members found KW2’s campaign messaging, imagery, and media placements authentic and motivating. What’s next? Even more investment in influencer marketing efforts that will help Ohioans living with or affected by HIV be heard.

Kw2 Web Case Study Know Hiv Social Posts

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