OMG: Gonorrhoea…It’s Trending

  New campaign aims to get Gonorrhoea prevention messages trending on Twitter #OMGsti

 Union of Students Ireland (USI)Dublin AIDS Alliance,, the HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme and Think Contraception, are aiming to tackle the rise in Gonorrhoea cases with a new social media campaign.  Between 2011 and 2012 there was a 33% increase in Gonorrhoea cases, and young men and women aged 17 to 29 years have been identified as a particular at risk group.  The tongue-in-cheek style of key messages for the campaign will help with getting the information across to young adults in both a humorous and factual way.

Key messages will be promoted primarily using online resources – Facebook, Twitter and websites -from Monday 9th December and will continue into 2014. Social media messages will promote safer sex, prevention of sexually transmitted Infections (STIs) including the consistent use of condoms, and STI testing and treatment services.  The use of social media will enable the campaign messages to reach a large national audience.

The campaign has been funded by the HSE and was prompted by a steady rise in cases of Gonorrhoea over recent years.  Dr Fionnuala Cooney, Public Health Specialist with the HSE, said today that “our ability to test for gonorrhoea has improved in recent years, and more sensitive tests, and more numbers attending for screening may account for some of the increase – however, we know that unsafe sexual behaviour is a significant driver of the increase in cases of Gonorrhoea and other STIs.”

Susan Donlon, Dublin AIDS Alliance, said “It is vital that young people can make informed decisions about their sexual health, and how to prevent the transmission of Gonorrhoea and other STIs. The campaign’s website,, provides information on the facts about Gonorrhoea, safer sex, where to access free STI testing, and where to access free condoms.”

Denise McCarthy, Union of Students in Ireland, said “We urge everyone to follow simple steps for prevention – get accurate and reliable information on STIs, always use a condom when having sex, and talk to your partner(s) about STI testing and using condoms. People can have Gonorrhoea and not have any signs or symptoms, so regular STI testing is encouraged, particularly if you have many sexual partners or if you have ever had unprotected sex.  Testing is free in public STI clinics.”

An information booklet is also available and will be widely distributed, particularly for organisations working with young people who don’t have easy online access. Outreach activities and providing access to, and distributing, free condoms will also form part of the campaign to ensure those most at risk are aware of how to prevent STI transmission.


Read the information booklet, click here

For more information on Gonorrhoea visit

Follow the campaign, learn something new & join the conversation #OMGsti



For more information on Gonorrhoea visit

Twitter Accounts for the Campaign Partnership:






Trends in STIs in Ireland, including Gonorrhoea 1995-2012: