Sacramento Bee (10.22.12)
More than 13,000 attendees will gather in San Francisco on October 28 for the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA), which will focus on “Prevention and Wellness across the Life Span.” In addition, The Monday Campaigns (TMC), a nonprofit initiative supported by leading public health schools, will roll out its award-winning “Man Up Monday” campaign, which uses suggestive images such as flaming boxer shorts to encourage sexually active men to “man up” and get tested. The campaign resulted from a collaboration between TMC, the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, and the Harlem Health Promotion Center with the goal of making men more cognizant of such issues as condom use and getting regular check-ups for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.
When Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Virginia (PPSEV) conducted a test pilot of Man Up Monday in tandem with half-price testing for those individuals who called to schedule a Monday appointment, PPSEV saw a 200 percent increase in testing over the previous year. Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of TMC, noted that “the Monday call to action once again proves its power to get people to listen up and do something good for their health.” He explains that “people view Monday as a day for a fresh start. They’re more likely to diet, exercise, quit smoking, and schedule doctor’s appointments.”
TMC’s Program and Research Director Morgan Johnson, MPH, feels the APHA conference is the ideal national launching pad for Man Up Monday since the free campaign will assist public health professionals who are working to promote health among young men. He goes on to observe that this population often tends to let health issues go unattended to until they become acute. Although young people aged 15–24 years of age represent only 25 percent of the sexually experienced population, estimates suggest that they acquire approximately half of all newly diagnosed STDs. For the national roll-out, TMC will continue to work with Planned Parenthood, schools, and other organizations through posters, billboard ads, and web videos. Information is available at www.manupmonday.org.
The Monday Campaigns is a nonprofit public health initiative in association with the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.