Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights just wrapped up a national social media campaign encouraging young people between the ages of 15 to 24 to get STI tested at least once a year. In just 5 weeks, the campaign reached over 3 million people on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the goal of “Get Tested At Least Once A Year” is to destigmatize STI testing by encouraging young people to make it part of their regular health routine. It separates getting tested from risk behaviours like changing sexual partners or having a condom break during sex.
“STI testing rates among young people are low in Canada and the biggest barriers are stigma and a lack of information on STIs, the testing process, and how often to get tested,” says Sandeep Prasad, Executive Director at Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights. “‘Get Tested At Least Once A Year’ frames testing as just another routine way to take care of your health.”
Video ads, social media posts and content posted by Instagram influencers were developed with the help of Action Canada’s National Youth Advisory Board and focus groups with youth across Canada. They show open conversations about getting tested and encourage viewers to visit www.onceayear.ca to find their nearest STI testing clinic.
“There is no shame in getting tested. STIs are a lot more common than most people think and we’ve seen a spike in rates among young people in recent years. That’s why the campaign was so important to us. It’s important that anyone who is sexually active get tested at least once a year” says Prasad.
Over the course of the campaign, over 25,000 young people who had seen the ad on social media used Action Canada’s STI testing directory to find a youth-friendly clinic near them.
Action Canada’s national directory of youth-friendly STI testing providers helps young people easily find where to get tested and the website www.onceayear.ca includes information on the different types of STIs, how often to get tested, and the testing process. “We’re trying to make the testing process as easy as possible by alleviating any fears or misinformation,” says Prasad.
An adapted version of the campaign will launch at the end of the year in Toronto for racialized newcomer, immigrant, and refugee youth between the ages of 15 to 24 with two more regional campaigns planned to follow.
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights
NOTES FOR EDITORS
For more information on “Get Tested at Least Once a Year” and to watch the ads, please visit www.onceayear.ca
The campaign in numbers:
- 24 million ad impressions: 12.9 million on Facebook/Instagram and 11.1 million on Snapchat
- 1.4 million people reached on Facebook and Instagram
- 2 million people reached on Snapchat
- 11,000 Google Searches
- 1.3 million 10 second video views
- 115,700 individual clicks to www.onceayear.ca