CDC uses Twitter to spread messages about safer sex
It's pretty common for people to browse social media websites like Twitter for the latest in news, fashion and gossip, but what about information on safer sex and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used Twitter during the month of April, which is STD Awareness Month, to educate the public about STD outbreaks and how to prevent the spread of infections.
On April 23, there was a live chat with Gail Boland, director of the CDC's Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention, about the diseases and infections that can be transmitted through vaginal, anal and oral sex.
The CDC also tweeted statistics, including the fact that an estimated 19 million people become infected with an STD each year in the U.S., with most of the diagnoses occurring in teens and young adults.
The organization also tweeted a link to ItsYourSexLife.com, a website run by MTV to educate the younger generation about practicing safer sex, STD testing and how to deal with a positive test result.
Atlanta radio station PBA 30 reported on the CDC's creative use of Twitter, explaining that the platform may be more accessible to teens and young adults.
"Many doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals may not be comfortable talking to their patients about sexual activity and encouraging kids to delay onset of sex and to have safe sex if they are having sex and to get tested for STDs," said Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, quoted by the news source.
The news source added that the estimated annual cost of STDs to the U.S. healthcare system is about $17 billion, according to CDC statistics.