In this section

You can also visit our graphics page for images to go with your social media posts.

Introduction

Thanks for being a pickup location or other partner for the I’m Ready research program! Your involvement is critical to our program being able to reach different communities across Canada and, in the case of our pickup location partners, to giving our participants choices for how they want to access kits.

REACH Nexus is part of MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto. Together with the Unity Health Toronto media relations team and the Unity Health Toronto Research Ethics Board, we’ve developed some tools and guidelines to help you participate locally in media coverage for I’m Ready, and to ensure that messaging about the research program is clear and consistent. This is particularly important for our potential research participants to get the best information, from the right sources.

Activities grid: how you can promote I’m Ready as a pickup location or other partner 

ACTIVITYGUIDANCENOTES
Emailing your networks about I’m ReadyEncouraged.Please see the email template section below for some text that you can use.
Be sure to link to the website at www.readytoknow.ca in your emails.
Posting on social media about I’m ReadyEncouraged, with some parameters (see notes).Please consult the social media post content section below for pre-composed posts and creative that you can use. Note the guidance in that section regarding which types of posts are considered study recruitment and should be used as they are.

Always link to www.readytoknow.ca in your posts.

Follow us at @ImReadyJagis and @REACHNexusCA (see the “Handles” area in the social media section below) to also see our published posts that you can easily reshare.  
Media releases or web news announcementsDiscouraged. Please only link to the official Unity Health release. We’re asking you to not make your own announcements or releases for this program.If you choose to reach out to local media via email, we are asking you to share a link to the release in the Unity Health Toronto Newsroom. It will be posted in the news section of the website.

When posting on social media, link to the release on the I’m Ready website. It will be posted in our news area. This is to ensure potential research participants are all brought to the same website, where all of the other participant-facing information is about the I’m Ready research program.  
Pitching to your media relationships for local coverageEncouraged, with some parameters (see notes on the right).Coverage across the country in different outlets and with local perspectives would be fantastic since it will help us get the word out at a community level. We’re eager to support this however we can!

We ask that you “pitch” (another word for reaching out to media) by sharing the release we developed (this will be posted on the Unity Health Toronto website) and the “media pitch template” below– these tools will help facilitate your media outreach.
Commenting on I’m Ready in the  mediaEncouraged, with some parameters (see notes).As a pickup location partner, you can speak to your role as a pickup location partner if media reach out to you or respond to your pitch. You can also speak to what you see as the potential benefits and impacts of the I’m Ready research program.

Reference the key messaging further down in this kit.

Ensure that you are quoted with your job title or as a “pickup location partner” and that you are not quoted as speaking on behalf of the national I’m Ready research program team or Unity Health Toronto.  

When reporters want comments on the overall program, its intended trajectory and/or the development of the program or any of its products, please get in touch with Colleen Westendorf, Manager, Communications and Public Affairs at REACH Nexus, for her to coordinate comments from the core research program team.

Alternatively, you can share quotes from the quote bank below if the reporter is satisfied with using any of those.
Hosting a virtual information session or other event for service providers and/or community members in your regionEncouraged, with some parameters (see notes).Please reach out to us at reachnexus@unityhealth.to before going ahead with an information session or virtual event focused on I’m Ready.

We can help you plan content for this and have someone from our team join you to present about the I’m Ready research program and let attendees know how they can participate.

Media

Pitch template for email/script for phone call

Hi (journalist/outlet),

I’m getting in touch about I’m Ready, a major HIV self-testing research program that just launched from REACH Nexus, the same research team that got Canada’s first HIV self-test approved last November.

I’m Ready is a study that is distributing 50,000 free HIV self-testing kits across Canada and asking questions from the people who will use them, all through an innovative mobile app, to improve HIV testing and care. I’m Ready has the potential to be a game-changer for ending the HIV epidemic in Canada, and to have real impacts here locally in (location), too.

My organization (name) is a (pickup location partner/partner) for this research program, meaning participants in the study can pick up an HIV self-test kit from us. We focus on (x) here in (location/region), and we’d like to speak with you about what we think I’m Ready can do for this region, and how our work is connected in our capacity as an I’m Ready partner and otherwise.

If you want to speak with the I’m Ready research team at Unity Health Toronto, we can also connect you with their media liaison, or we have some quotes from their core team that we can share with you about this important program and its development.

You can learn more about I’m Ready at www.readytoknow.ca, and about our work at (your website).


Key messages

  1. The I’m Ready research program is a major national HIV self-testing research program. The program combines two pieces of technology: HIV self-testing kits—which are proven to be a fast and highly effective method—and smartphones, which will allow participants to sign up for the program easily and anonymously. It’s open to anyone in Canada over the age of 18.
  2. I’m Ready has 50,000 free HIV self-test kits to distribute to start with.
  3. The I’m Ready research program tagline is Know your status. Connect to Care. Together, let’s end HIV in Canada. I’m Ready’s goals are to reach people who are undiagnosed, get them connected to care, and to learn through their research how to improve HIV testing and care in Canada, all with an ultimate goal of ending Canada’s HIV epidemic.
  4. The I’m Ready research program’s core partners are the Canadian HIV/AIDS Black, African & Caribbean Network (CHABAC), Women’s Health in Women’s Hands (WHIWH) and the Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC). WHIWH and CBRC are partners specifically in the I’m Ready, Talk secure telehealth service component of the program. I’m Ready also has over 75 pickup location partners all across Canada to give people options for how to access self-test kits.
  5. REACH Nexus is launching the I’m Ready research program just over 6 months after Health Canada approved Canada’s first HIV self-test—in large part thanks to REACH Nexus’s research.
  6. The I’m Ready research program is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation and Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR)’s Strategic Initiatives.
  7. The I’m Ready research program is the flagship initiative of I’m Ready to Know, a broader brand (or “project”) under which REACH Nexus is developing multiple HIV self-testing initiatives to reach different key populations in different contexts and to increase access to HIV self-testing and care. The tagline for I’m Ready to Know is: Ending HIV in Canada with low-barrier access to self-testing and connections to care.

Quote bank

These are approved quotes that you can share with journalists about the I’m Ready research program when they want perspective from the Unity Health Toronto I’m Ready research team but doing an additional interview may not be possible or worthwhile.

  • “Self-testing opens many doors by removing some of the barriers people face in getting tested for HIV: lack of access to a healthcare provider, travel and wait times, and concerns about confidentiality and stigma. It also promotes greater privacy, autonomy and the potential for community connections through innovative distribution programs and secondary distribution from one self-tester to another.”  – Sean B. Rourke, Director, REACH Nexus, MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, Unity Health Toronto
  • “Building this first phase of our innovative and pragmatic I’m Ready research program and getting it off the ground would not have been possible without the support of our amazing community-based partners: Women’s Health in Women’s Hands, the Community-Based Research Centre/CBRC and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Black, African and Caribbean Network. We also couldn’t have done it without the relationships we’re building with provincial ministries and regional health authorities, local community-based AIDS service organizations across Canada and our fantastic creative and technical vendors.” – Sean B. Rourke, Director, REACH Nexus, MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, Unity Health Toronto
  • “HIV self-testing provides you as an individual more control over the experience and who knows. However, this project ensures that you can have your questions answered and the support you need. You are not alone in HIV self-testing with I’m Ready”  – Nathan Lachowsky, Research Director, Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC)
  • “The I’m Ready program meaningfully engages communities disproportionately affected by HIV through use of peers who are the core of the support provided for those seeking testing. Utilizing peers in the I’m Ready HIV self-testing program will provide tailored expertise and leadership from communities highly affected by HIV.” – Wangari Tharao, Director, Research and Programs, Women’s Health in Women’s Hands
  • “We are bringing peer support into the 21st century through cutting edge technology that provides geographic access to anyone across Canada. Peer support has been a cornerstone of the HIV response since the beginning of this pandemic. We have an incredible group of peers who are trained and eager to help people use these new HIV self-tests.”
    Nathan Lachowsky, Research Director, Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC)

Social media

Handles

These are the social media handles of core I’m Ready partners. To see more of our partners, visit our website’s Pickup locations page. Tagging accounts* in your posts can increase the reach of your post.

*On Twitter, you can tag an account in your image instead of in your post content so you don’t have multiple handles visible as text eating up your allotted characters.

OrganizationTwitterInstagramLinkedInFacebook
REACH Nexus@REACHNexusCAN/Ahttps://www.linkedin.com/company/reach-nexus-ca  @REACHNexusCA
I’m Ready@ImReadyJagis@ImReadyJagisN/A@ImReadyJagis
MAP Center for Urban Health Solutions@MAP_healthN/AN/AN/A
Unity Health Toronto@UnityHealthTO@UnityHealthTOhttps://www.linkedin.com/company/unityhealthtoronto/@UnityHealthToronto
Women’s Health in Women’s Hands (WHIWH)@whiwhchcN/AN/A@whiwhchc
Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC)@CBRCtweets@TheCBRChttps://www.linkedin.com/company/thecbrc/  @TheCBRC
Canadian HIV/AIDS Black, African and Caribbean Network (CHABAC)@CHABACinfoN/AN/AN/A
Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR)@CANFAR@CANFAR1987https://www.linkedin.com/company/canadian-foundation-for-aids-research/@CANFAR

Hashtags

Hashtags are a type of metadata, similar to applying a colour code to email that helps you sort your emails into categories. On some social media platforms, especially Twitter and Instagram, hashtags become by convention associated with certain topics. Using appropriate hashtags on your posts can get your posts in front of new audiences when people browse posts in a platform by hashtag. Hashtags can also set audience expectations about your post content.

Hashtags haven’t to date picked up on Facebook and are only moderately in use on LinkedIn. Generally, we recommend:

  • LinkedIn: you can use a hashtag, but it may or may not help with engagement.
  • Facebook: suggest not using hashtags.
  • Twitter: use 1-3 maximum hashtags. Hashtags can also be used in the body of your post content instead of just at the end of the post, such as “Learn about why #HIVselftesting is gaining popularity in Canada.”
  • Instagram: generally hashtags are grouped in a collection at the end of a post. It’s common to use many hashtags on a single post on Instagram, even 10 or more.

Hashtags that are relevant for I’m Ready and HIV self-testing

Our general campaign hashtags are #ImReadyProgram in English and #ProgrammeJagis in French. Other hashtags we might use to promote I’m Ready are:

  • #HIVselftesting
  • #Knowyourstatus
  • #HIVCan
  • #CDNhealth
  • #HIVAIDS
  • #HIVresearch
  • #SDOH (social determinants of health)
  • #cdnpoli
  • #ONpoli
  • #canqueer
  • #cdnhealthresearch
  • #AIDSawareness
  • #DigitalHealth 

Note that this list is not comprehensive. Have others to suggest? Let us know!

Graphics

Visit our graphics page to download social media images to go with your posts. We have created four types of graphics:

  1. About the general I’m Ready research program
  2. About the I’m Ready, Talk secure telehealth peer navigation service
  3. About the I’m Ready, Test app
  4. About the broader I’m Ready to Know project

Post content: general

These are sample posts and you’re welcome to modify them to your voice. Posts that mention the program and generally invite anyone to learn more about the program but do not directly invite participation are not considered recruitment and you are also welcome to create your own.

What is considered recruitment? Anything that addresses audiences in a 2nd person voice (you/yours) and uses language like “Are you ready,” “Are you ready to know your status,” “learn your status,” “Get an HIV self-test kit,” “join the program today,” is considered recruitment and should use the approved recruitment post content in the next section.

  1. I’m Ready is out! @ImReadyJagis is a national HIV self-testing research program from @REACHNexusCA, who got HIV self-testing approved in Canada just over 6 months ago. We’re a proud pickup location partner for this important project. Learn more: (release link in readytoknow.ca newsroom) 
  2. The @REACHNexusCA I’m Ready research program @ImReadyJagis is sharing 50,000 free HIV self-testing kits, asking survey questions through an app and offering peer navigator support to connect to care, all to improve HIV testing and care in Canada. Learn more: https://readytoknow.ca/#study
  3. Why is HIV self-testing so significant for ending the HIV epidemic in Canada? Check out @ImReadyJagis’s page about evidence for HIV self-testing: https://readytoknow.ca/why-self-testing/evidence-for-hiv-self-testing/
  4. Questions about HIV self-testing? Check out the @ImReadyJagis Knowledge base: https://www.readytoknow.ca/faq
  5. The I’m Ready research program @ImReadyJagis put together care pathways for support with HIV testing, care and prevention in different parts of Canada: https://readytoknow.ca/testing-support/care-pathways/

Post content: recruitment

These posts are considered research recruitment and have been approved by Ethics so please use them as they are for any social media content inviting participation in the I’m Ready research program.

If you have questions or ideas for other recruitment posts that you think might better reach different communities, please get in touch with Colleen Westendorf, Manager, Communications and Public Affairs for REACH Nexus.

  1. Are you ready to know your HIV status? I’m Ready @ImReadyJagis is a research program where you can order up to 3 HIV self-testing kits and answer research questions to help improve HIV testing and care in Canada: https://readytoknow.ca/#study
  2. We’re proud to be a pickup location partner for the I’m Ready research program @ImReadyJagis! If you’re ready to know your HIV status, you can visit us to pick up an HIV self-testing kit after you’ve joined the program and placed your order. Learn more: https://readytoknow.ca/ready-get-a-kit/pickup-locations/
  3. If you join the I’m Ready research program @ImReadyJagis, with the I’m Ready, Test app you can order up to 3 free HIV self-testing kits for delivery or to pick up at a participating pickup location, like us, near you! Details: https://readytoknow.ca/ready-get-a-kit/im-ready-test-app/
  4. I’m Ready, Talk’s peer navigators are here for you before, during and after you self-test for HIV when you join the I’m Ready research program. Learn more: https://readytoknow.ca/testing-support/connect-with-peer-navigators/

Email template

Hi (name/organization),

I’m getting in touch about I’m Ready, a major HIV self-testing research program that just launched from REACH Nexus, the same research team that got Canada’s first HIV self-test approved last November. I’m Ready is a study that is distributing 50,000 free HIV self-testing kits across Canada and asking questions from the people who will use them, all through an innovative mobile app, to improve HIV testing and care. I’m Ready also includes support for program participants through I’m Ready, Talk, a secure telehealth service designed to support self-testers with connections to resources and care.

I’m Ready has the potential to be a game-changer for ending the HIV epidemic in Canada, which is why we at (partner org. name) were eager to partner on this work. As a (type of partner) we are especially involved with (nature of partnership role), which is fitting given our work in (about your work).

I thought this would be of interest to you because of your/your organization’s work in (details about their work). If you’d like to help spread the word about the I’m Ready research program with your communities and audiences, we’re certain this visibility could go a long way towards helping the program achieve its goals to reach people who are undiagnosed in Canada and collect important data about HIV testing and care.

You can get involved by following I’m Ready on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @ImReadyJagis on all platforms. We appreciate any reshares of social media posts about the program, and you can also find graphics and pre-composed posts to make your own posts at www.readytoknow.ca/sharing.

If you have questions about the research program or want to know how you can be more involved, please get in touch with REACH at REACHNexus@unityhealth.to.

Thank you,