How to Plan National STD Awareness Month Activities

Universities/Colleges/Vocational 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 (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 the 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:

On Campus…

  • Create an STD/Sexual Health awareness committee to educate your campus about STDs and host seminars on STD prevention and testing
  • Work with university administrators, faculty, staff, health service, and student leaders to organize a STD/sexual health day or week to include games, screenings, events, etc.
  • Invite speakers to your college from local hospitals, STD clinics, or community-based organizations providing STD prevention programs
  • Arrange special educational projects by university, civic, religious, and social clubs
  • Organize presentations and discussion workshops with student educators (hold the presentations in informal settings such as the student center or in dormitory lounges)
  • Sponsor a T-shirt/button/pencil sale or walk/run to benefit STD programs in your area
  • Write an article or editorial for the campus paper, club newsletter, or e-mail bulletin
  • Obtain web page fact sheets or establish links for campus web site: www.cdc.gov/std Attention: Non-MDH link
  • Create tabletop tents with STD/sexual health messages and place in cafeterias and dormitories
  • Encourage the varsity athletic department to designate and sponsor a benefit (football, basketball, hockey, etc.) game from which proceeds go towards STD/sexual health prevention and education center on campus
  • Co-host interviews with medical and/or health service faculty on campus radio stations
  • Distribute key chains containing condoms and an STD/sexual health awareness message
  • Ask campus student health center or local STD testing center to provide walk-in STD testing
  • Collect photographs, posters, articles and drawings reflecting that people of all ethnicities, ages, genders and sexual orientation can be infected with STDs; ask different student groups to submit a piece and create a mural display for campus
  • Hold a film-festival featuring educational films about STDs available from the MDH Library and air on campus cable TV network
  • Coordinate with bars and restaurants near campus to give out free condoms and pass out literature
  • Hold an open house in the student center; distribute information on STD testing and prevention
  • Sponsor a benefit theater production or music concert in which proceeds go to a local STD/sexual health organization or campus program
  • Obtain and distribute National STD Awareness Month information and STD materials:
    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

Updated Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 09:46AM