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Harnessing digital data and data science to achieve 90-90-90 goals to end the HIV epidemic.

  • Author(s): Strathdee, Steffanie A
  • Nobles, Alicia L
  • Ayers, John W
  • et al.

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Purpose of review

Effective public health interventions depend on timely, accurate surveillance. Harnessing digital data (including internet searches, social media, and online media) and data science is an emerging approach to complement traditional surveillance in public health but has been underutilized in HIV prevention and treatment.

Recent findings

We highlight recent examples that illustrate how social media data can be applied to HIV surveillance and prevention interventions.


To achieve 90-90-90 goals to end the HIV epidemic, we encourage traditional public health researchers to partner with data scientists to supplement HIV surveillance programs with social media analytics to refine estimates of HIV infections and key populations at risk and to identify subgroups and regions where prevention and treatment efforts need to be bolstered. We also encourage interdisciplinary teams to design interventions to promote HIV prevention and linkage to care by leveraging digital media, such as search engines and social media, that have the potential to reach millions of people instantaneously.

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