Gear Up for STD Awareness Month!

April is STD Awareness Month. This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is focused on tackling the dangerous resurgence of syphilis. Reported cases and rates for primary and secondary syphilis are the highest they have been in more than 20 years. Rates have increased in every region, a majority of age groups, and across almost every race/ethnicity. CDC has also seen an increase in reports of ocular syphilis in recent years. These data are a clear reminder that syphilis can strike many communities at anytime and anywhere. For these reasons, the theme of this year’s STD Awareness Month is “Syphilis Strikes Back,” which captures what is happening today in the United States. This year’s social media and web-based outreach efforts will focus on the following weekly syphilis prevention themes:

  • (April 1-8) | Syphilis in the U.S. – An overview of what it is, how it’s affecting specific communities, and why this potentially dangerous health issue needs attention
  • (April 9-15) | Syphilis among gay, bisexual and other MSM – Focus on the group hardest hit by syphilis and what individuals and healthcare providers can do to help
  • (April 16-22) | Syphilis among women, pregnant women, and newborns – Focus on the increases among women and its impact on pregnant women and newborns, as well as what individuals and healthcare providers can do to help
  • (April 23-30) | Disrupt Syphilis! – The final week will focus on what actions are needed to tackle syphilis moving forward

As you are mapping out your STD Awareness Month plans, take a look at the following tools for your use:

  • The STD Awareness Month website has been revamped to include basic information on syphilis and prevention information tailored to people who may be impacted by the disease, as well as healthcare providers.
  • CDC prevention resources to share with your partners, member groups, communities, and others or to post to your website! There are updated fact sheets, brochures, online banners, STD testing site locators and much more (including syphilis-specific products).
  • Syndicated website content for your use to ensure your website contains the most recent CDC STD information.
  • Sample tweets and Facebook posts to use throughout April for those of you on social media. Please use #STDMonth17 when promoting STD Awareness Month.
  • A ‘Twitter Takeover’ on Tuesday, April 18 (12-4pm ET): CDC STD’s twitter account (@CDCSTD) will take over the twitter account of the Office on Women’s Health (@WomensHealth) to distribute key syphilis prevention messages for women and clinicians. Promote and/or join and retweet messages to your own followers.
  • A Thunderclap, in which you can participate and help amplify our syphilis prevention messages across multiple social media platforms.

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments’ best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO’s communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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