Now is the time to address a different kind of social security.

Nationwide, rates of sexually transmitted diseases among the older adult population have nearly doubled. Patterns of high-risk behavior among seniors in the District of Columbia were linked to seniors entering new sexual relationships after divorce or widowhood. These newly single seniors were unequipped to navigate today’s dating landscape.  The DC Department of Health partnered with Octane, and Octane in turn developed a solution to help seniors secure their sexual health.

Octane’s research showed that seniors confided to having both a lack of sexual health knowledge about risks of infection and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and a discomfort with discussing such topics. The Older Adult Sexual Health Awareness Campaign advertising strategy was designed to meet older adults where they are, figuratively and literally. Appreciating that this demographic is more modest, Octane crafted thoughtful messaging and visuals using subtle, respectful yet clever language that invoked nostalgia and values familiar to seniors to make the discussion of relationships, sex, and STD prevention more comfortable. Collateral materials were used in senior training sessions and distributed at popular senior locations and events throughout the city offered by the DC Department of Aging. Octane and the District government are proud to have developed one of the first local public health campaigns to address the modern-day sexual health issues facing seniors.

Target audience: DC residents over ages 55+
DC Department of Health, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration