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Organization Leverages Viral Social Marketing to Spread Health Protection Message

Denver, Colo — Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains reached people in Colorado, Wyoming, Southern Nevada and Northern New Mexico through its participation in a successful campaign to increase awareness about sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing and treatment among people 25 years old and younger.


In recognition of National STD Awareness Month, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), in collaboration with MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation, unveiled the “GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign,” reaching thousands of people through community outreach and education events and STD testing and treatment at more than 800 Planned Parenthood health centers nationwide.


Nearly 1,500 people were tested for STDs at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains health centers on days when discounted $5 STD testing was offered (April 21 and 24 at most locations).  Cumulatively more than 1,400 chlamydia tests, 1,400 gonorrhea tests and 1,300 HIV tests were administered; a more than ten-fold increase in STD testing compared to an average day.


Nationwide, the campaign spread virally online, with GYT09.org receiving more than half a million page views and more than 250,000 unique visitors. In addition, nearly 15,000 people located their nearest testing center by texting their zip code to the mobile code GYT09. The GYT Facebook and Twitter accounts were also popular among young adults.


PPFA kicked its educational outreach efforts into high gear, hosting more than 140 watch parties with nearly 1,800 guests for the MTV movie Pedro about a young HIV-positive advocate. Combined with other outreach and education efforts in schools, at health fairs, on college campuses, and at other community events, PPFA directly reached more than 9,000 people with a strong message about the importance of STD testing and treatment to protect our young people’s health.


 “Planned Parenthood is committed to providing young people with the information and services they need to make responsible, healthy decisions,” said Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards. “The buzz created by the GYT campaign has been a huge success. The more people talk about the importance of getting tested, the more likely we are to effectively address this critical public health issue.”


Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains

Since 1916, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains has been committed to providing affordable and confidential health care services; and teaching comprehensive, medically accurate, age-appropriate sexual health education and working to protect a woman’s right to choose.  Each year more than 125,000 women, men and teens visit its 29 health centers throughout Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming.  For more information about Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, call 1-800-230-PLAN or visit pprm.org for the health center nearest you.


Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, Inc.


Monica McCafferty


April 29, 2009


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