How to Plan National STD Awareness Month Activities

Schools

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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/STIs 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:

  • Obtain STD/STI brochures, fact sheets and posters:
  • Set aside class time for a special lesson or speaker on STDs/STIs or start a peer education program
  • Invite a health care worker from an STD/STI testing site to come and talk to students about symptoms
  • Sponsor a poster, T-shirt, exhibit, or bumper sticker design contest for National STD Awareness Month
  • Create a STD/STI writing assignment for April: essay, poem, book report, brochure, poster or report
  • Air STD/STI PSAs over the school intercom system
  • Distribute brochures and information about STDs/STIs at an exhibit set up in the school
  • Make a long-term commitment to develop and support STD/STI prevention education in the context of comprehensive school health education
  • Place STD/STI posters on bulletin boards in classrooms, lunch rooms or hallways
  • Form a youth rap, dancing, singing or theater group that dedicates performances to STD/STI prevention
  • Prepare a current events bulletin board for students to fill with newspaper articles about STDs/STIs
  • Have local high school students, trained as peer educators, talk to younger junior high or elementary school students about STDs/STIs
  • Make adolescents aware of the free and confidential national and state STD/STI hotlines available to them
  • Design and implement a peer-led media campaign for the school
  • Create a board game/quiz on STD/STI facts. Post on social media networks
  • Write a letter or article for the school newspaper, blog or website about STDs/STIs
  • Plan a special session for the parents to learn about how to talk with their children about STDs/STIs
  • Obtain a video, DVD or slide set for teaching parents the facts about STDs/STIs
  • Show videos/DVDs that portray teens talking about their personal experiences with STDs/STIs
  • 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 to address how drug and alcohol use impair judgment and increase the risk of STDs/STIs
  • 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