Programming Connection

Making Heat in the Back Seat? 

601 Outreach Yorkton, Sunrise Health Region Public Health
Yorkton, SK
2015

Making heat in the back seat? is an HIV and STI prevention campaign that was developed in 2011 by Sunrise Health Region Public Health in partnership with 601 Outreach Yorkton and with help from AIDS Saskatoon to increase awareness around transmission of HIV and STIs among youth aged 16-30 in the rural region of Southeast Saskatchewan. The campaign was also run in Prairie North Health Region (PNHR) in Northwestern Saskatchewan, in partnership with Battleford Family Health Centre and AIDS Saskatoon. Saskatchewan has some of the highest rates of STIs and newly diagnosed HIV rates in the country.

With the slogan “Making heat in the back seat? Know your risk,” the campaign’s strategy uses a non-serious approach to address a serious subject. “We wanted the message to be subtle, but still get the point across in a non-offensive way,” says Deanna Bartok, HIV Strategy Coordinator for Sunrise Health Region. Materials supporting the campaign included two billboards, posters, chatterboxes and coasters that were distributed throughout the communities as well as in local bars. They included a QR code that led to a web page providing information on HIV and other STIs. In PNHR, materials were also displayed on a red Corvette in parades, at a car show and a community fair.

In addition to receiving much positive feedback, the campaign saw its website visitor traffic almost double during the first six months after coaster distribution began in January 2013. The ongoing campaign has also sparked more conversations around HIV and STIs in the community.

For more information about the Making heat in the back seat? campaign, contact Deanna Bartok at deanna.bartok@shr.sk.ca or Merle Nightingale, Regional HIV Strategy Coordinator for Prairie North Health Region, at Merle.Nightingale@pnrha.ca.