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New campaign promotes free, confidential STD testing

Mar 25, 2014 - From staff reports

The Wyoming Department of Health continues to promote free and confidential testing for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases through its recently updated "KnoWyo" campaign.

The WDH effort aims to promote awareness as well as prevent disease by providing vouchers for free testing services to Wyoming residents. Participants simply visit KnoWyo.org, select their location and then print a voucher for free testing at locations throughout the state.

"Unfortunately, our data shows us 1 in 17 young people in Wyoming between the ages of 15 to 25 has a sexually transmitted disease," said Tai Cooper, interim WDH Communicable Disease Prevention Program manager. "Many may not realize they have been infected, and that's why testing is so important."

Cooper said the voucher program is not new.

"We've successfully encouraged testing over the last few years with the KnoWyo campaign," she said. "Our new theme uses a touch of humor to get attention for what can be a serious health issue."

The updated campaign encourages audiences to "Make 1 Count." The campaign explains, "We'll each go 2,500 times this year" and "we each have 165 ounces of blood." Wyoming residents are asked to "make 1 count" with HIV and STD tests.

KnoWyo will use a variety of tactics to both increase awareness of the voucher program and increase the number of redeemed vouchers. Highlights include a new television commercial and an aggressive social media campaign. An interactive Facebook app estimates how many of the user's friends might have an STD. "Bathroom takeovers" have been popping up across the state, and a booth is planned at summer and fall entertainment events.

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