How to Plan National STD Awareness Month Activities

Faith Communities

Download version formatted for print:
Faith Communities (PDF: 111KB/2 pages)

National STD Awareness Month is an annual national health observance sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help break the silence and to alert everyone to the growing crisis of sexually transmitted diseases/infections (STDs/STIs) in America. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) encourages all Minnesotans to learn about STDs, one of the state’s most persistent (yet preventable) health problems, during the observance of National STD Awareness Month. Public awareness and knowledge are critically low around the country and STDs remain at epidemic levels, particularly among 15 to 29 year olds. The MDH reported receiving 23,133 new cases of STDs/STIs in Minnesota in 2013 of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.  To help get the word about National STD Awareness Month in your community, please refer to the following planning guidelines and suggested activities:

NOTE: Contact the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) once events are set up so they can listed on the MDH web site's Statewide National STD Awareness Month Calendar.

  • Obtain STD brochures, fact sheets and posters:

    http://www.ashastd.org
    http://www.cdc.gov/std
    http://www.GYTnow.org
    http://www.health.state.mn.us/std  
    http://www.cdc.gov/std/sam/
    http://www.NoMasSTDs.com
    http://www.mnchlamydiapartnership.org/

  • Announce local National STD Awareness Month related events, meetings, and educational opportunities that are listed on the MDH web site:
    • in bulletins, newsletters, websites, social media outlets, and email messages
    • in congregational worship services and other gatherings
    • in the calendar of events of local radio, newspaper, television, and bulletin boards
  • Dedicate one of your weekly bulletins to National STD Awareness Month during April and include information about STDs/STIs
  • Focus on the impact of STDs during religious education programs; invite people from local STD or family planning clinics to speak
  • Contact your religious affiliation’s national office for information about their sexual health related programs and policies. Prepare and deliver a sermon on this topic
  • Create within your congregation an environment of openness and support by:
    • being available to listen to persons who have questions about sexual health related matters
    • being free from judgment, stigma and discrimination
    • recognizing people/agencies that work in the area of STDs/STIs during worship services

    • Involve your youth classes in a local STD Awareness Month activity or other STD/STI related project:
      • invite health care workers from local clinics to speak about STDs/STIs at your youth class
      • write an article for your weekly bulletin on STDs/STIs and how they impact youth
      • identify and share information on STD/STI education, screening, and treatment services during one of your youth classes or meetings
      • develop a STD/STI poster, collage or mural for display during classes, meetings or services
      • develop an exhibit on STDs/STIs for display in the main lobby during the month of April
      • develop and recite a poem, song, letter or short story about what youth need to say about the realities of STDs/STIs, sexual health, communication, or National STD Awareness Month during services
    • Provide or host a session for parents on how to talk to their children about reproductive health and STDs/STIs
    • Obtain STD/STI videos/slides and play during youth class or event
    • Use Selected Local and National Resources for National STD Awareness Month and /or STD Materials
    • Make sure your events get added to the Calendar of Statewide National STD Awareness Month Events

Updated Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 03:30PM