Background: Maricopa County is a high morbidity area for STDs including gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia and HIV. One public health STD clinic serves a population of approximately 4 million people. In an effort to increase awareness of services offered, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health STD Program (STDP) developed and implemented a media campaign.
Methods: A media campaign was developed in April 2011. The campaign included social media, print ads, online ads, and radio/television commercials. During calendar years 2011 through 2013, media campaign materials were advertised on seven radio stations, two TV stations, fifteen social media websites and in six print publications. A campaign slogan “The Risk is NOT Knowing” was developed, included in all media submissions and linked to a Facebook page. A media campaign mascot “One Night Stan” was developed and used in incentives provided at outreaches and in printed media ads. Clinic attendance was evaluated during the media campaign for calendar years 2012 - 2013 and compared to clinic attendance prior to media campaign initiation in 2009-2010.Website hits to the STDP landing page www.STDaz.com were compared using the 6-month period at the beginning of the media campaign and a 6-month period at the end of 2013.
Results: During calendar years 2011-2013, STD Clinic attendance increased 23 percent (40,789 vs. 50,137 clients) as compared to the two-year time period prior to the implementation of the media campaign (2009-2010). Page views of the MCDPH’s media campaign-linked website, www.STDaz.com , increased 226 percent following the implementation of the media campaign; 23,598 in 2011 vs. 76,832 in 2013.
Conclusions: Clinic attendance and website visits increased following implementation of the media campaign in Maricopa County demonstrating the benefit of public health media campaigns that promote STD awareness and testing.