STD Awareness Month

Dear Colleague,

March 10, 2016

April is STD Awareness Month, and preparations at CDC’s Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP) are in full swing. STDs continue to pose a major threat to the health of our nation. With recent CDC data showing that chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are all on the rise, this is the time for health departments, healthcare providers, and community-based organizations (CBOs) to deliver an impactful and empowering message about improving sexual health. We have a pivotal opportunity to promote STD prevention, testing, and treatment throughout the country, so together, let’s make the most out of it.

This year, DSTDP will promote the theme of Talk.Test.Treat. throughout STD Awareness Month. Our communication activities will target both individuals and healthcare providers in a phased approach. The bullet items below are specific messages we will use to focus our social media and web-based outreach efforts on each week in April.


  • Week 1: Protect your sexual health during STD Awareness Month, and all year long, with these three simple actions—Talk.Test.Treat.
  • Week 2: Talk openly to your partner(s) and your healthcare provider about sexual health and STDs.
  • Week 3: Get tested. It’s the only way to know for sure if you have an STD.
  • Week 4: If you test positive for an STD, work with your doctor to get the correct treatment.


  • Week 1: Protecting your patient’s health is as easy as Talk.Test.Treat.
  • Week 2: Providing the best medical care possible means talking to your patients about their sexual health.
  • Week 3: Test your patients for STDs as recommended.
  • Week 4: Follow CDC’s STD Treatment Guidelines to ensure appropriate treatment and care.

When developing your STD Awareness Month game plan, you can look to the materials available on the Resources page of CDC’s STD Awareness Month website for support. There you will find many of the products that you have come to expect from CDC, including updated fact sheets, brochures, online banners, and STD testing site locators. New this year, you will also find the Lowdown infographic, sample social media posts, and redesigned plain language brochures in easy-to-print formats. We also encourage you to take advantage of our syndicated content to ensure that the CDC STD information you place on your website stays current. For those on Twitter and Facebook, please use the hashtag #STDMonth16 when promoting STD Awareness Month.

We will also be hosting our very first STD Thunderclap. This social media platform allows a single message to be shared from multiple social media channels at the same time, helping this message rise above the noise of your social networks. All you have to do is sign up to participate, and together, we can help further the important prevention messages of this year’s STD Awareness Month.

As always, we thank you for your commitment to STD Prevention. We couldn’t do it without your help!


/Jonathan Mermin/
Jonathan H. Mermin, M.D., MPH
RADM and Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

/Gail Bolan/
Gail Bolan, M.D.
Director, Division of STD Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Page last reviewed: January 23, 2017