Thursday, January 15, 2009

FINALLY! Technology-based Prevention Strategies Hit the Mainstream!

"'It's safe to say that some of the [current STD/HIV] prevention efforts are not working. New, innovative methods will be required to get through to this generation of young people, for whom text messaging and the Internet are integral parts of daily life,' says Dr. Yolanda Wimberly, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at the Morehouse School of Medicine and the medical director for the Center for Excellence in Sexual Health."

Oh, Yolanda, ISIS <3 U. According to the new "Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2007" report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, STD transmission rates are on the rise – particularly among women and minorities, between 15 to 24 years old.

FINALLY! The mainstream media, doctors, health educators and even the government have discovered what we at ISIS have known for about seven years now: Technology, particularly internet-based and text messaging, is an incredibly effective way of making sexual health information easy and nearly free to access for everyone.

Our peer STD partner notification website, inSpot has been replicated in 10 states, 11 cities and is quickly growing. SexINFO, our sexual health text messaging program has been replicated in Washington D.C. as part of the RealTalk Campaign and is definitely the service to watch. Both of these services break down the barriers that prevent open, honest communication around sexual health and fill the information void.

Surely this article has piqued your interest in technology-based STD prevention methods, so you’ll definitely want to check out the Sex::Tech Conference Focus On Youth, where innovators in technology, past, present and future and sexual health badasses converge to show us all the goods they’ve been cooking up to facilitate dialogue and prevent disease transmission. The Sex::Tech Conference is the only place that you’ll be able to see many of these emerging sexual health innovations and talk to their makers. There might (definitely!) be some ideas or partnerships for you to take back to your organization and implement in the future!

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