STOP STDs: Support, Technical Assistance, and Opportunities for Program, Policy, and Communications to Prevent STDs

CAI is engaging community members in several jurisdictions throughout the country to help identify and address the disproportional rates of sexually transmitted infections among communities of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and people who live in under-resourced areas.

Rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) vary considerably by population and by setting. African Americans and Hispanic/Latinos have higher sexually transmitted infection rates than white Americans. Men who have sex with men make up more than 40 percent of syphilis cases. People living in resource-limited communities also contract STIs at a disproportionate rate due to social and health inequities, contributing to enduring disparities. Too often, the voices of people most in need of public health services are not heard.

The initiative

Utilizing our expertise in authentic community engagement, CAI is working with community-based organizations in four jurisdictions— Houston, Dallas, Baton Rouge, and Puerto Rico—to identify emerging public health issues related to STIs. This information will be shared with both the jurisdictions’ health departments and the leaders of national health organizations.

CAI’s work will include:

  • Engaging and collaborating with a broadly representative community advisory board that will provide insights into local cultural norms and sensitivities regarding STI prevention and treatment and offer feedback on proposed STI response strategies.
  • Identifying and strategizing with community-based organizations in the principles of effective and authentic community engagement.
  • Helping the organizations and community residents develop, complete, and analyze a community needs assessment that will identify and prioritize emerging health needs.
  • Working with health departments to implement response interventions.

The impact

The training and support that CAI is providing will equip community-based organizations to seek out and amplify the voices of community members. As a result of this work, local health departments will be better equipped to meet community members’ needs, and national organizations will be alerted to—and better prepared to respond to—emerging health needs.

To share the local information on a national level, CAI will bring national partners together twice each year to report on the jurisdiction-level work and host biannual webinars that will be attended by up to 500 representatives of CDC-funded organizations.

Project funder

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Leadership and contact

Rodney Washington, Project Director: