How to Plan National STD Awareness Month Activities

Local Health Departments

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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 remain critically low around the country and STDs are occurring at epidemic levels, particularly among 15 to 29 year olds. The Minnesota Department of Health reported receiving19,547 new cases of STDs in Minnesota in 2011of 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:

  • Identify and contact individuals and organizations in your community interested in planning STD awareness month activities. Institutions such as local hospitals, family planning clinics, and community clinics are good starting places. Organizations serving youth, HIV/AIDS planning groups, chemical health programs and pharmaceutical company representatives may also have an interest

  • Choose an activity or activities with defined objectives to help promote awareness about STDs:
    • Create a planning schedule. Include specific activities and responsibilities
    • Obtain resources. Establish partnerships and secure the necessary funds or donations if needed
  • Submit a proclamation to your mayor or county board stating that your organization recognizes National STD Awareness Month

  • Obtain STD posters, fact sheets and brochures:
    http://www.ashastd.org;
    http://www.health.state.mn.us/std;
    http://www.cdcnpin.org;
    http://www.NoMasSTDs.com; or
    http://www.health.state.mn.us/sep
     
  • Ask schools, businesses, clergy and organizations to promote STD awareness month and distribute STD materials to their constituents
  • Host an educational event for the public with speakers from local STD or family planning clinics; obtain STD videos/slides from the MDH library

  • Mobilize existing community or health care worker groups that your agency currently serves on and ask them to help promote National STD Awareness Month

  • Promote and encourage on-going STD awareness and prevention through seminars, video showings and material distributions in schools, colleges, work sites, faith establishments and health care settings

  • Write a letter or editorial to your local newspaper highlighting the need to talk about STDs and provide the current STD rates in your geographical area

  • Display exhibits, posters, flyers, videos, or brochures about STDs at a public setting, event, library, courthouse or work site

  • Encourage area churches, temples, and synagogues to place STD brochures in their display racks and provide them with STD information that they can publish in their weekly bulletins

  • Deliver listings on local STD testing sites for referral purposes to health care providers, clinics, corrections programs, chemical health programs and agencies serving teens and young adults

  • Develop STD fact sheets or identify links to other existing fact sheets (www.cdc.gov/std Attention: Non-MDH link) and put on your agency’s web site

  • Distribute National STD Awareness Month materials electronically using your own e-mail address books

Updated Tuesday, 17-Dec-2013 14:47:52 CST