Pride, Polish & Protect: An Outreach Educational Program for the Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections


Poster Presentation

Purpose for the Program

Pride, Polish & Protect is a community-based outreach educational initiative to decrease the sexually transmitted infections in a low-socioeconomic area.

Proposed Change

To decrease the number of sexually transmitted diseases. Teens and young adults have the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases of any age group. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are approximately 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases each year in the United States, with almost one-half of them among young people aged 15 to 24 years. Chlamydia trachomatis is the most commonly reported infectious disease in the United States and the most prevalent sexually transmitted bacterial infection worldwide. In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, chlamydia rates in 2009 were 6,597. In Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, African American females aged 15 to 19 years had the highest total of reported cases.

Implementation, Outcomes, and Evaluation

In 2007, the implementation of Pride, Polish & Protect was an attempt to educate woman on the ways to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, contraceptive management, and sexual responsibility. In an effort to assist women to engage in healthy behaviors, the education program was taken to the local nail salons. In 2009, the program was expanded to community health fairs and local after-school programs by using an incentive driven approach with a prize wheel to engage young women in education. On the prize wheel, each color represents a series of health-related topics. Upon the selection of a color by the participant, staff chose an appropriate question. Once the question was answered and discussed, a prize and a chance to win the grand raffle prize, which is a manicure and pedicure at the local nail salon, were awarded. The success of this outreach program has been demonstrated by an increase in the number of women scheduling appointments at the clinic and a reduction of sexually transmitted disease rates in the community served.

Implications for Nursing Practice

To reach women, nurses need to be creative in the way they engage and educate.