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So They Can Know is a website designed to help people who've been diagnosed with STDs notify their partners. Right now, only 23% of at-risk partners are notified following a diagnosis. If we increase the percentage of people notifying their partners, we can spread communication and treatment back along an infected sexual network. This has the potential to eradicate curable STDs (like chlamydia) from entire communities. Plus, don't you want to help make sure your partners tell you if they get diagnosed?
We are Sexual Health Innovations- the 501(c)3 non-profit that has created and is maintaining So They Can Know. We are dedicated to using technology to improve sexual health. Jessica Ladd and Jenny McManus are the two leaders of the initiative- two bad-ass young women with Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins and long-standing commitments to sexual health. And we have an incredible Board and Advisory Board helping us out.
We want to make sex more awesome for everyone and eradicate STDs from the United States. With your help, we can maintain So They Can Know as a free service for the next year and provide free promotional materials to STD and family planning clinics to give out to their patients. This will ensure that there will be more people notifying their partners, more partners getting tested and treated, and fewer people spreading STDs. How cool is that?
Jessica Ladd speaks about So They Can Know at TEDxMidAtantic:
Each year there are 9.1 million new STD cases among 15-24 year olds in the United States. Most people with STDs donʼt have any symptoms and donʼt seek testing or treatment. This results in ongoing transmission, particularly among youth and racial/ethnic minorities. Untreated STDs cause serious reproductive health problems over time and they leave those infected vulnerable to other STDs, such as HIV.
Traditionally, anonymous partner notification has been provided by health departments. However, most health departments no longer have the funding to provide anonymous partner notification services for STDs other than HIV and syphilis, and even when they do, not everyone wants to tell a government entity who they've had sex with. Still, anonymous partner notification programs have historically coincided with dramatic decreases in STD incidence.
Why We Think This Will Work
So They Can Know has an incredible team behind it, has a ton of support from the public health community, and is likely to work. We asked a random sample of STD clinics if they would tell their patients about it, and over 90% said yes. We asked young Americans if they would use it to notify a partner they weren't willing to tell in person, and over 80% said they'd be likely to. Planned Parenthood, the National Coalition of STD Directors, the Baltimore and New York City health departments, and many other organizations will help us get the word out to clinics that need us.
We've already put in the blood and sweat to build this thing. Now let's get it into the communities that need it and start preventing some STDs.
Sexual Health Innovations needs $25,000 dollars to maintain So They Can Know and start promoting it to STD clinics across the United States. The funds will go towards supporting this campaign, printing and distributing promotional material, and office space and salary support for Sexual Health Innovations’ staff that are promoting the website.
The more money we raise, the more clinics we can get promoting So They Can Know to their patients, the more partners being notified. Even if we don’t reach our goal, 91% of all funds we raise will go directly to our promotion efforts. Regardless of how much we raise, your contribution directly impacts our ability to reach at-risk youth in the United States.
Here's what the cards that we want to provide to at least 100 clinics in the next year look like :
By supporting So They Can Know with any size donation, you become a part of the effort to improve the sexual health of young Americans.
$1 or more: You = Awesome. Tax exempt donation (the amount of your donation minus the cost of your perk)! And we'll think you are awesome and keep you updated on our progress.
$5: You= 5 x Awesome. You're five times as awesome! Go you!
$15 or more: You = Fan. We'll write your name on a Sexual Health Innovations post-it note, take a photo of us holding it, and tweet it and email it to you. And then we'll stick it to the wall of our office so that we can be reminded of how great you are while we're working. Because you're officially a Fan!
$25: Fan + Condoms/Post-It Notes. You're a Fan! Choose between our customized condoms and post-it notes. And your donation pays for a month of hosting for the website!
$40: Fan + Awesome Undies. You're a Fan! Choose among thirteen pairs of totally awesome underwear (and with more underwear designs coming soon). Nine of these were inspired by FORCE and the "PINK loves CONSENT" spoof, and created with their permission. And your donation pays for the cost of printing 300 promotional cards!
$50: Fan + T-Shirt/Museum of Sex/(Underwear + Condom). You're a Fan! Choose among: a t-shirt, two passes to the Museum of Sex in New York City, or a pair of underwear and a custom condom. And your donation pays for promotional material for one clinic for a 6 months!
$100: Friend + Gift Pack. You're officially a Friend of Sexual Health Innovations, and will be listed as such on our organizational website (unless you don't want to be). And you get a gift pack, which includes a custom condom, post-it notes, and two items of apparel of your choice. And your donation covers the cost of promotional material for one clinic for a year!
$250: Family + Launch Party + Swag. You're officially Family of Sexual Health Innovations, and will be listed as such on our organizational website (unless you don't want to be). Two free tickets to our next launch party + your choice of apparel. Your donation covers 2 weeks of office space for Jess or Jenny.
$500: Family + 2 Years of Parties + 2 x Swag. You're Family! Two free tickets to all parties we have in the next 2 years + your choice of two items of apparel. Your donation covers a month of overhead costs for one staff person.
$1000: Family + Clinic Sponsor: You're Family! You're also an official sponsor of 5 clinics. You choose the clinics, and we will reach out to them and provide them with free promotional material for a year.
$5000: Family + Advisor/Presentation: Choose to either participate in an organizational brainstorming session or have us present at your next event for FREE (travel costs not included). Your donation covers the cost of 2 new videos for the So They Can Know website!
Even if you are not in place to give right now, you can still help further our cause!
- Get the word out about our cause by sharing it with your social networks. Post our campaign on facebook or twitter, or send out some mass emails.
- Volunteer for Sexual Health Innovations. So They Can Know was built entirely by volunteer programmers, graphic designers, and public health professionals. Our volunteers are ESSENTIAL to our success. We are always looking for more volunteer programmers, graphic designers, marketing buffs, videographers......anything. Let us know what you can offer and we will find a project for you!
Tell your friends about So They Can Know (so they can tell their friends, and they can tell their friends, and.....) Who knows? Maybe down the line, your actions will prevent you or someone you care about from getting an STD.
Team on This Campaign: