Sex We Get It campaign

Story From the Field: “SEX: We Get It” – A Local Sexual Health Campaign for Teens & Young Adults

Nov 10, 2020 | Shalesha Majors

The Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) is in the heart of downtown Flint, MI, with an additional branch in Burton, MI that houses many of its clinical services. GCHD is committed to delivering excellence in all their programs and services while striving to meet the needs of Genesee County’s diverse communities with a strong commitment to health equity and to improving the health of its over 400,000 residents. Within GCHD, their Family Planning & Sexual Health Clinic is a trusted source for teens and young adults in Genesee County, giving them access to high quality reproductive and sexual health services at low or no cost. GCHD provides the following confidential Sexual Health and Family Planning services:

  • Counseling & Education
  • Pregnancy Testing
  • Birth Control
  • Emergency Contraception
  • STI Testing & Treatment
  • HIV Testing & Treatment Referrals
  • PrEP for HIV
  • Health Insurance Enrollment

GCHD launched their “Wear One” condom campaign back in 2017 to increase free condom availability, create awareness, and promote acceptance of condom use. The goal of the campaign is to decrease STIs and unplanned pregnancies by removing barriers to condom use such as cost, embarrassment, and lack of access. Since the program’s launch, over 150,000 condoms have been distributed along with thousands of sexual health education pamphlets through the help of many community partners. Based on the success of the “Wear One” campaign and how much of an impact it continues to have in the community, GCHD knew there was still a lot of work to be done and understood that would be accomplished through developing trusting relationships with everyone they serve.

On September 16, 2020, GCHD launched their “SEX: We Get It” campaign to encourage confidential family planning and sexual health services to teens and young adults living in and around Genesee County. The goal of this campaign is to inform the youth in our community that there are confidential resources available and people to speak with that get it. “Teens and young adults are a priority population for us. Developing trusting relationships with this population is essential to our goal of improving sexual and reproductive health throughout Genesee County, MI,” noted Brad Snyder, Public Health Supervisor for GCHD’s Family Planning and Sexual Health programs. “We feel the massive positive responses on social media and throughout the community from this campaign are all signs that we are moving in the right direction. We are really looking forward to seeing how increased awareness of our services contributes to more teens and young adults coming through our doors.”

GCHD worked with Real Integrated, an advertising agency, to launch the “SEX: We Get It” campaign. The campaign includes social media tactics as well as the distribution of branded materials promoting awareness and services available to teens and young adults. Using images and fresh slang that young people know – including sexual reference terms such as “Dopplebanger,” “Postboned,” and “Sascrotch” – the campaign provides a distinctive way to connect with teens and young adults about sex. Campaign “swag” includes masks, t-shirts, stickers, condoms, condom tins that are distributed to patients in the clinic and will be used as prizes for social media contests. The unique approach puts a fun spin on reproductive and sexual health awareness for teens and young adults and aims to show young people that the health department is a place for them. “Working with GCHD, we knew that to be effective, we would need to create a campaign that young adults would see as real and relatable,” said John Ozdych, President of Real Integrated. “That is the essence of ‘SEX: We Get It’ – we believed that if we spoke their language and showed them that we aren’t afraid of having conversations on their terms, we would have a much better chance at establishing trust with young people.”

GCHD has shared the campaign with several local, state, and national partners with the goal of increasing awareness of their sexual and reproductive health services and decreasing the stigma associated with accessing and receiving these services. To view some of the assets and messaging created for this campaign, visit the “SEX: We Get It” campaign website.

*This campaign was supported by award no. FPHPA006464 from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health (OASH). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of OASH.


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