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Sexually Transmitted Diseases Awareness Campaigns

The issues of HIV and STD have been on the global health agenda for quite a while. Even though new problems have emerged, toning down the gravity of the HIV- and STD-related ones, there is still the necessity to educate young people about the threat of STD. For this purpose, new campaigns are designed regularly, Get Yourself Tested Again promoted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Friedman et al., 2014) and Get Checked by the Health Department (New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 2017) being exemplary specimens thereof. By focusing on using the latest technological innovations to reach out to the target population, the programs embrace a wide range of community residents, thus, contributing to active knowledge acquisition and serving their purpose successfully.

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Despite the fact that the campaign created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is aimed at the general audience, it is still linked directly to the program to be implemented at the New York City STD/HIV Prevention Training Center (NYC STD/HIV PTC) since both address the issue of raising awareness. The artifacts from the campaign can be seen by clicking at the link below. The fact that the CDC program has a more general goal driven by the problem of the social stigma, which HIV/AIDS victims bear, can be considered its advantage since it helps promote understanding and cooperation (Friedman et al., 2014). The restriction to a single social function, however, makes the program rather narrow and, therefore, lacking efficacy. Facebook and Twitter was chosen as the key form of media since it helped get the message across to a wider range of participants. The program can be characterized as educational; thus, it can be used to design the tool for the current program that will be used to address the lack of awareness about AIDS, HIV, and STD.

Similarly, the Get Checked program helps shed more light on the importance of learning more about STD and HIV. In addition, active use of social media such as Facebook as the tool for bringing the community together and educating young people about the significance of proper sexual behavior is what both the currently designed program and the Get Checked campaign have in common. The promotion of unity can be viewed as the essential strength. Furthermore, the campaign also seeks to encourage young people to engage in the consistent acquisition of the relevant knowledge so that new threats could be recognized and avoided successfully, which is a significant advantage. However, the small scope of Get Checked (i.e., a promotion of testing) is its key weakness. Nevertheless, it can be assumed that Get Checked can provide the foundation for improving the NYC STD/HIV PTC program, especially as far as the enhancement of community integrity is concerned (New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 2017).

Since both of the programs use the available social media tools as the foundation for bringing the community together and promoting active knowledge acquisition among the target population. As a result, the foundation for engaging the target community members and motivating them to learn more about the issue of HIV and STD is built. One must give both programs credit for integrating social networks into the general health promotion strategy. The use of the identified tools allowed for a rapid dissemination of the relevant data among the community members. Thus, awareness was raised within a comparatively short amount of time. Both campaigns, therefore, can be viewed as a graphic proof of the significance of using social media as the means of unifying the community and promoting cooperation among its residents. Thus, they should be used as models for designing a comprehensive program for NYC STD/HIV PTC.

References

Friedman, A. L., Brookmeyer, K. A., Kachur, R. E., Ford, J., Hogben, M., Habel, M. A.,… McFarlane, M. (2014). An assessment of the GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign: an integrated approach to sexually transmitted disease prevention communication. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 41(3), 151-157.

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. (2017). Get checked. Web.

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