STD Awareness Month - Local Health - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Local Health Departments:
How to Plan National STD Awareness Month Activities

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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/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 remain critically low around the country and STDs are occurring 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:

  • Identify and contact individuals and organizations in your community interested in planning/hosting STD/STI awareness month activities.  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 activities with defined objectives to help promote awareness about STDs/STIs:
    • 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 agency recognizes National STD Awareness Month
              • Obtain STD/STI posters, fact sheets and brochures.
              • Ask schools, businesses, clergy and organizations to promote STD Awareness Month and distribute STD/STI materials to their constituents
              • Host an educational event for the public with speakers from local STD or family planning clinics; obtain STD/STI videos/slides from 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/STI awareness and prevention through seminars, DVD showings and material distributions in schools, colleges, worksites, faith establishments and health care settings
              • Write a letter or editorial to your local newspaper highlighting the need to talk about STDs/STIs and provide the current STD/STI rates in your area
              • Display exhibits, posters, flyers, DVDs, or brochures about STDs/STIs at a public setting, event, library, courthouse or worksite
              • Encourage area churches, temples, mosques and synagogues to place STD/STI brochures in their display racks and provide them with information that they can publish in their weekly bulletins
              • Deliver referral listings of local STD/STI testing sites to health care providers, clinics, corrections programs, chemical health programs and agencies serving teens and young adults
              • Develop STD/STI fact sheets or identify links to other existing fact sheets ( and put on your agency’s website
              • Distribute National STD Awareness Month materials electronically using your agency’s email address books, social media accounts and mobile applications
              • 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 Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at 10:28AM