News Sexual Health

NowUKnow: Keeping New York’s Youth in the ‘Know’ About Sexual and Reproductive Health

Mel Gagarin

The vast majority of the teen pregnancies in New York City were unintended and rates of STIs among teens are high. Planned Parenthood NY is launching a campaign to ensure teens have accurate information regarding sex and sexuality.

Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC), along with Planned Parenthood Nassau County (PPNC), Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic (PPHP), and Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley (PPMHV), recently launched “NowUKnow,” a video and text-message campaign aimed at educating at-risk young people in New York City and surrounding areas about the prevention of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Certain campaign features, such as the health center locator, will work for young people even if they live outside of the New York City area.

The campaign, running through December, uses two short video ads to introduce young viewers to Troy and Lisa, the campaign’s protagonists. Troy feels a burning sensation and thinks he may have an STI, while Lisa had a condom break during a sexual encounter and is concerned about having had unprotected sex. Young people can text “Troy” or “Lisa” to 802495 to follow their stories. Over the course of the campaign, text messages will tell a story and link young people to information about STI prevention, pregnancy prevention, safer sex, and locations of local Planned Parenthood health centers where they can receive safe and confidential care.

Studies show that young people communicate through text messaging more than any other form of communication, making a text-based education campaign an effective way of reaching at-risk youth where they are. We are committed to reaching young people via their communication method of choice and the online venues they frequent. As the campaign progresses, it will also be supported by a “NowUKnow” Facebook page and Twitter account, where young people can continue the conversation started by “NowUKnow.” The campaign’s website can be viewed here:

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s study of teen pregnancy between 2000 and 2009 found that the vast majority of the teen pregnancies in New York City were unintended. Teens also represent more than one in four diagnosed STI cases in the city. At Planned Parenthood we want our young people to lead safe and healthy lives. This campaign is an effort to ensure that our young people have accurate information regarding sex and sexuality so they can do just that. Our hope is that this campaign will serve as a first step in a longer conversation with New York’s young people. So please take the time to inform the young people in your life about this important new campaign.

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