Background: The national GYT: Get Yourself Testedcampaign (GYT), targeting youth and young adults up to age 25, aims to: raise awareness of STDs; encourage STD testing; encourage talking with sex partners about STDs and STD testing; and encourage conversations with health care providers about STDs and STD testing.
Methods: To assess campaign awareness among youth, we sampled 4,017 respondents (aged 15-25 years) in a representative, probability-based, online survey. Parents provided consent for legal minors (under age 18) to participate; consent rate was 53%. Participation rate was 51% among those 18-25 years of age. Median survey duration was 27 minutes. The survey assessed GYT awareness; awareness of other campaigns; knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to STDs and sexual health; and behaviors related to health care-seeking for STDs. We used chi-square to assess the statistical significance of differences between those aware of the campaign and those who remained unaware.
Results: Overall, 20% of respondents had heard of GYT, which compared very favorably with awareness of campaigns targeted toward the same audiences or related to the same behaviors. A specific campaign image was recognized by 16.5% of the sample. The percentage of those aware of GYT (26%) who had been tested for non-HIV STDs in the past 12 months was greater than the percentage of those unaware of GYT (12.5%) who had been tested. The same pattern appeared for testing prior to the past 12 months (17.1% of the aware group vs. 10.3% of those unaware of GYT), and for both past-year and prior HIV testing, all p<0.01. Other target behaviors of the campaign, e.g., talking to providers and partners, were similarly and significantly related to campaign awareness.
Conclusions: Results of this survey indicate that awareness of the GYT campaign was significantly related to the behaviors that the campaign targeted for improvement.