STD Awareness Week, observed April 10-16 this year, provides an opportunity to raise awareness about sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also known as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and how STIs and STDs impact peoples’ lives. Raising awareness may also help reduce the stigma, fear, and discrimination surrounding the conditions. Additionally, a goal of the observance is to ensure that people have the tools, knowledge, and resources to prevent, test for, and promptly treat STDs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates, as of 2018, that one in five people in the United States have an STI, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, human papillomavirus (HPV), and syphilis to name a few. Many of these infections go undetected because they often have no recognizable symptoms. If left untreated, many of these infections can have serious health consequences and severe, adverse effects including, but not limited to, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and increased HIV risk. Thus, proven STI prevention is essential for protecting America’s health and wellness. This STD Awareness Week, join HIV.gov in raising awareness about STD prevention and treatment using the resources below.
CDC Campaign Toolkit
The toolkit provides resources from the three campaigns below to share with your community about the importance of prevention and testing. Additionally, it serves as a guide to help users understand the theme of each campaign, the primary audiences, and aligned materials.
GYT: Get Yourself Tested
The GYT campaign targets youth and encourages young people to get tested and treated for STDs. The campaign offers streamlined materials to help focus efforts on STD awareness, prevention, testing, and treatment among young people.
Prepare Before You’re There
This campaign targets the general public and focuses on education, awareness, prevention, and communication. It encourages people to be knowledgeable about what puts them at risk for STDs and to make an intentional prevention plan before “the heat of the moment” happens.
Talk. Test. Treat.
The general public and healthcare providers are the target audiences of this campaign, which focuses on communication, testing, and treatment. It reinforces that all STDs are preventable and treatable, and most are curable and encourages taking three simple actions—Talk. Test. Treat.—for the audience to protect their health, the health of their partners, and that of providers‘ patients.
STI National Strategic Plan
Led by the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy, the first-ever STI National Strategic Plan provides a roadmap toward a nation where STIs are prevented and where every person has high-quality STI prevention, care, and treatment while living free from stigma and discrimination. Learn more about the Plan here.
The CDC provides additional resources, including testing and treatment guidelines, fact sheets, surveillance reports, and more here.
We encourage individuals, healthcare providers, federal and non-federal agencies, and others to choose a campaign, plan activities, and join HIV.gov in spreading awareness about STDs. Together, we can break down the barriers created by fear, stigma, and discrimination this STD Awareness Week and throughout the year.