How to Plan National STD Awareness Month Activities

Faith Communities

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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 (STDs) 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 received 23,133 new case reports of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in 2013. 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.health.state.mn.us/std;
    http://www.cdcnpin.org; or,
    http://www.NoMasSTDs.com

  • 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 E-mail 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
  • 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 during worship services
    • Involve your youth classes in a local STD awareness month activity or other STD related project:
      • invite health care workers from local clinics to speak about STDs at one your youth classes
      • write an article for your weekly bulletin on STDs and how they impact youth
      • identify and share information on STD education, screening, and treatment services during one of your youth classes or meetings
      • develop a poster, collage or mural on STDs for display during classes, meetings or services
      • develop an exhibit on STDs 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, sexual health, communication, or National STD Awareness Month during services
    • Checkout STD videos/slides from the MDH Library and play during youth class or event

Updated Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 09:44AM