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 (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 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:

  • Obtain STD brochures, fact sheets and posters:;;;; or

  • Set aside class time for a special lesson or speaker on STDs or start a peer education program
  • Invite a health care worker from an STD testing site to come and talk to students about STD signs and symptoms
  • Sponsor a poster, T-shirt, exhibit, or bumper sticker design contest for National STD Awareness Month
  • Create a special STD writing assignment for April: essay, poem, book report, brochure, poster or research report
  • Air public service announcements/radio announcer scripts about STDs over the school public address system
  • Distribute brochures and information about STDs at an exhibit set up in the school
  • Make a long-term commitment to develop and support STD prevention education in the context of comprehensive school health education
  • Decorate trees, school buildings, classrooms, lamp posts, or fences with STD posters
  • Form a youth rap, dancing, singing or theater group that dedicates performances to STD prevention
  • Prepare a current events bulletin board for students to fill with newspaper articles about STDs
  • Have older students from the local high school, trained as peer educators, talk to younger junior high or elementary school students about STDs
  • Make adolescents aware of the free and confidential national and state hotlines available to them
  • Design and implement a peer-led media campaign for the school
  • Create a board game/quiz on STD facts. Post on social media networks
  • Write a letter or article for the school newspaper or web site about STDs
  • Plan a special session for the parents to learn about how to talk with their children about STDs
  • Obtain a video or slide set from the MDH library for teaching parents the facts about STDs
  • Show videos/DVDs that portray teens talking about their personal experiences with STDs
  • Get permission from your school to set-up and staff a display at a public mall, retail center/store or public building
  • Prepare a lesson that addresses how drug and alcohol use impair judgment and increases the risk of getting an STD

Updated Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 09:43AM