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IknowUshould2: A Youth-Driven Social Media Campaign To Promote STI And HIV Testing Among Adolescents

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In United States of America, the number one public health problem is sexually transmitted infection/diseases (STI/STD). 21% of the total population of age 13-29 years are affected by sexually transmitted diseases, they account for new reported cases of HIV infections, about 39% of the total population. In 2009, states health department reported similar cases of chlamydia among youth of age 10-24 account for 72.3 % of the 1.2 million new cases. The probability that youth in Philadelphia of age 10-14 will have chlamydia are 5.3 times more than any other states in America, and youth between the age of 15-19 are 3.5 more likely to have chlamydia. The statistics from Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data reported that, regardless of the imbalance in youth STI prevalence, fewer than 20% of sexually active 9th graders and less than one-third of sexually active 12th graders reported to have been tested for HIV.

Youth are carried away by the effect of technology and social media and hence constitute a crucial way out for supplying health messages or interventions to adolescents. Youth digital media-based sexual health interventions were reviewed and the results shown just 10 studies evaluating the effects of interventions on sexual health attitude and behaviors. Furthermore, past multi-media attempt associated with to STIs concentrate on controlling the stigma and other barriers associated to enhance STI testing among youth, most especially CDC sponsored the Get Yourself Tested campaign. Nevertheless, little attempt have incorporate youth in all side of the campaign outlined and distributes nor aimed on younger adolescents who may have undergo age-specific obstacles to people that have been tested nor that have not ever been tested.

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The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) lunched the IknowUshould2 campaign from September 2012 – August 2013 and focused on youth with age 13-17 years old in Philadelphia, also included in the campaign are youth age 18- 24 years old, this campaign focuses on enhancing the knowledge about expanding the testing for STI and Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The campaign made use of health behavior theory-based approach, youth driven incorporating traditional media (radio, newspapers, t-shirts, hotline), new media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, MySpace, You Tube), campaign events community outreach and partnership. The principal aims of this studies was to assess the possibility and initial influence of utilizing social media-based, youth-driven campaign to better knowledge and expand STI/HIV testing.

Segment of targeted population

This campaign started in conjunction with relationship between numerous departments at the children’s hospital of Philadelphia and youth from few of local community partner companies. Furthermore, the campaign connect to protect Philadelphia, the alliance of community members and researchers aiming on HIV prevention for adolescents through Adolescent Trials Network, reacted in a consultative magnitude producing response on contents branding, take part in spreading of the campaign. The integrative model of behavior prediction was used to build this campaign which focal point is on fixing attitudes, beliefs and norms related to STI/HIV testing among adolescents.

To develop the motto, content, types of material, and design, the activities included three focal groups of youth (approximately 10 youth per group) in the targeted range and demographic. The campaign also includes two sessions to photograph and video youth for social medial and other material. During the process numerous important things were learned from the youth. The youth affirm that they do not need parental consent for the testing of STI/HIV, and some were afraid that they parent will find out about the result of the testing. When the youth find out that the result will be confidential and that they have the right to their confidentiality, they started focusing more on the campaign. They also requested that the campaign should have youth input to include their voice, videos and photo.

Campaign websites and social medial

The Campaign Website (www.iknowushould2.com) made up of homepage, a free locator of where to get tested, testing centers based on zip code in Philadelphia with 100% confidentiality, there some pages that tells you what are STDs?, why do we care about STDs/HIV, who can you talk to when u think you are showing signs and symptoms of STDs, and a page on what the testing is all about, called STDs testing is easy. This website was formatted in such a way that phone users, tablets users can access it and all other website traffic to the campaign can be tracked by the electronic types, what information they are seeking to know. The campaign websites homepage also made available the services of using Facebook, Instagram, and You Tube. The campaign websites also made available experience from youth that participated in the campaign in the form of a You Tube video for people to check.

Community Events, Campaign Promotional Materials, Print and Other Media

The high-yield youth events was pinpointed through the community partnerships, and also the outreach attended with promotional materials and also a smartphones showing the website. The outreach workers also familiarized the youth with the campaign websites and persuade them to connect to campaign social medial at that time. The outreach workers also issue the a wrist band and t-shirts that display the campaign name and the websites at the events to youths that volunteer to learn more about the campaign or connect to it by sharing or liking the Facebook page. There are posters advertisements that are placed tactically throughout the city.

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