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What are QR Codes?
"QR" (or "quick response") codes store information in the form of a two-dimensional square barcode. QR codes direct users to mobile websites or videos, store text or contact information, call a phone number, and/or send text messages and emails.
People interact with QR codes by scanning the barcode with their mobile phone camera. A QR reader application is needed to detect the QR code. You can download a QR reader application to your smartphone through a mobile application store. It is possible to track when, where, and how many people are scanning QR codes with Google Analytics, Bit.ly, and other services.
QR codes in response to HIV
Many commercial companies use QR codes as part of their marketing campaigns. At AIDS.gov, we are exploring the use of QR codes on brochures, posters, postcards, or business cards to:
- Link users to more detailed information about HIV-related topics.
- Provide contact information about HIV services for people to quickly download.
- Promote specific HIV events (e.g., National HIV Testing Day).
Examples from the field
The AIDS.gov HIV/AIDS Prevention & Services Provider Locator helps users locate HIV/AIDS related clinics in their area.
AIDS.gov Branded QR Code
QR codes allow some flexibility for branding.
Where can I learn more?
- Instructional Design Fusion's "QR Codes, Augmented Reality, and Learning for Health"
- Edelman Digital's "Health Digital Check-Up: What’s a QR Code Anyway?"
- Mashable's "HOW TO: Create and Deploy Your Own QR Codes"
- Create your own QR code and track it with Jumpscan: http://jumpscan.com/
- Mashable's "HOW TO: Make Your QR Codes More Beautiful"
- Content Developer's "How To Customize QR Codes With Your Brand’s Identity"
QR Codes (PDF - 508 KB)
A one page reference regarding QR codes, what they are, and how they are being used in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Last revised: 06/05/2012