“Could I Have Lupus?”

We’ve partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health and the Ad Council to get the word out about lupus

Could I Have Lupus?

Launched in the spring of 2009, the nationwide “Could I Have Lupus?” public service advertisement (PSA) campaign aims to reach young, minority women of childbearing age (18 to 44) who are at greatest risk for lupus. The goal: to raise awareness and offer resources for better understanding the disease, its dangers and its signs and symptoms, and the importance of being seen by a health professional if a person suspects they “could have lupus.”

“When we started this campaign, we faced a very limited awareness and knowledge about lupus among women at greatest risk,” said Frances E. Ashe-Goins RN, MPH, acting director of the Office of Women’s Health. “Through our work with the Ad Council, we are significantly increasing awareness and providing women with the opportunity for an early diagnosis, which will reduce the number of lupus-related deaths.”

Just a year after launching, a national survey by the Ad Council found that 22 percent of women surveyed said they had seen or heard the PSA. Fifteen percent reported having recently heard, seen, or read something about lupus, compared to 10 percent in 2009. And 14 percent of women reported having visited a website for more information about lupus—in contrast to 9 percent before the campaign launch.

“The exposure this campaign is receiving in the media is translating into action,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “We are looking forward to continuing our work with the Office on Women’s Health to develop essential communications tools that will further educate women about lupus and its symptoms.”

Created pro bono by Los Angeles-based ad agency Muse Communications, the PSAs feature the stories of real women and conclude with the tagline, “For answers. For support. For hope.” and direct women to visit www.couldihavelupus.gov or www.podriayotenerlupus.gov, or to call a toll-free number (1-800-994-9662) to learn more about the symptoms and treatment options for lupus and access local resources.

“Our sincere hope is that the work we have done and will continue to do contributes to the call to action for women of color,” says Shelley Yamane, president and chief strategic officer of Muse. “We believe if we can significantly increase awareness to the symptoms of this dreaded disease, we can contribute to the early diagnosis and successful treatment of lupus for thousands of American women,” she added.

Per the Ad Council model, the PSAs will run and air in advertising time that is donated by the media. Since its launch in March 2009, the campaign, has received more than $27 million in donated media exposure.