Since our founding in 1981, ETR has served educators with comprehensive information for clients and patients, as well as facilitation and training guides for educators. ETR’s STD education materials are used by public health programs, schools, colleges, private medical providers, community-based organizations and the military. Our well-designed materials are regularly reviewed and updated for accuracy, usability, and cultural sensitivity.
ETR offers the largest selection of sexual and reproductive health interventions and programs. Our evidence-based curricula are some of the most rigorously tested in the country and feature well-designed STD lesson plans with student worksheets, STD awareness activities, roleplays and teaching games for students to develop the awareness and skills they need to protect themselves.
Almost 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This marks the fourth consecutive year of increases in these three sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
The CDC has urged health care providers to renew their commitment to make STD screening and treatment a standard part of medical care. Education is another vital component required to reverse the current trends. ETR’s STD education materials are widely used and recognized to be highly accurate, accessible and easy to understand for a wide variety of students and clients.
There are a few basic facts everyone should know about STDs:
Anyone who has sex is at risk for STD. All STDs can be treated and many can be cured. ETR delivers information on STD in multiple formats, including award-winning STD pamphlets, STD fact sheets, STD awareness posters, and PowerPoint presentations for high school students, middle school students and college students.
Since our founding in 1981, ETR has been committed to promoting the sexual and reproductive health of young people and communities in the United States and internationally. We are the only agency that researches, develops, implements, evaluates and disseminates STD education materials, programs and strategies to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes.
The experienced ETR editorial and design staff help make our materials, programs and services accessible, user-friendly and cost-effective so schools and other agencies can use them with confidence. We are committed to providing essential health information that people can use in practical, real-world ways.
Health information presents challenges for most people. The information is often presented in complex ways using unfamiliar scientific and medical jargon. And in addition to the challenge of trying to understand complicated language, people taking in the information might be feeling stressed or worried about an unfamiliar situation or health problem. Even people with advanced literacy skills will have difficulty focusing and understanding information about their own or a loved one’s health concerns.
While everyone struggles to understand health information during stressful times, the concept of health literacy recognizes that most health information is even more challenging for people with limited literacy skills. According to the U.S. Department of Education, about 60 million adults have basic literacy skills that allow them to perform simple and everyday literacy activities. Another 30 million adults have below-basic literacy skills that allow them to perform no more than the most simple and concrete literacy skills.
There is an obvious need for low literacy health education materials. ETR’s publishing group has developed a set of generalizable principles to guide the development of low-literacy health promotion materials.
To meet ETR’s standards for Easy-to-Read, a product must achieve several criteria:
Clear writing. Words are chosen carefully to be clear, accurate, accessible and short. Pronunciation guides are provided for medical terms. Sentences are brief and direct. Paragraphs contain no more than 6 lines, and bulleted lists no more than 5 items.
The number of concepts delivered in one pamphlet is limited to 2 or 3 ideas. The health messages are straightforward and unambiguous. The text must pass established measure for readability, which require content at a fourth to sixth grade reading level.
Positive messages. As a general rule, health messages are framed positively. Readers learn about the benefits of positive action steps they can take, rather than get lists of things they shouldn’t do or horror stories about poor choices.
Support for learning. Checklists and simple self-assessment tools, such as STD knowledge quizzes, are used frequently. This helps readers interact with the material and learn more effectively.
Appropriate images. Photographs or illustrations relate directly to the topic, reinforce the written words, and demonstrate a positive health attitude or behavior.
Transparent design. Design, layout and typeface are simple and clear. They consistently guide the reader to the publication’s key concepts and essential messages. Design aims for a balance of text, white space and images. Since most people only have time to read about one or two ideas, key concepts are easily located.
Titles that meet ETR’s low-literacy standards work for all kinds of readers. Materials that are thorough, clear and get right to the point are as useful for “busy” readers as for “reluctant readers. While the wording and presentation of these titles may be simple, the content has depth. The tone is respectful of the reader’s intelligence and never talks down to the reader.
Some ETR products pass the low-literacy readability standards but don’t meet the low-literacy criteria for images, type or design. When titles register within the fourth to sixth grade level for readability, but have more complicated design elements, they are not classified as Easy-to-Read.
All of ETR’s materials are designed to make complex information and concepts as clear as possible for a broad audience. Our higher-reading-level titles focus on a few essential messages and generally fall within the sixth to eighth grade level for readability.
Health promotion materials are available in a variety of formats to meet your needs. These include:
STD pamphlets and pocket guides: ETR’s award-winning STD brochures and pocket guides are not intended as a substitute for a health care professional’s opinion or care, rather these materials give practitioners a chance to communicate meaningfully and provide individualized information for clients when needed. Clients then have a written record of their health visit to help them remember the information shared.
STD awareness posters and banners: ETR’s attractive posters and banners are designed to deliver a focused message and to encourage clients to seek out more in-depth information on topics such as STD testing.
STD PowerPoint presentations and quick guides: Engaging presentations in English and Spanish cover different aspects of sexual and reproductive health, including STD prevention, testing and treatment, safer sex, HIV/AIDS, and reproductive anatomy. ETR’s Quick Guides complement these presentations. With vibrant graphics and clear, simple text, these booklets are perfect to use during one-on-one consultations or in waiting rooms.
Curricula: Our evidence-based curricula are some of the most rigorously tested in the country and feature well-designed STD lesson plans with student worksheets, STD awareness activities, interactive roleplays and cooperative teaching games for students to develop the awareness and skills they need to protect themselves. Visit our Program Success Center to learn more.
Our work in HIV and STD prevention is based on our belief that everyone deserves access to trusted information and services related to their sexual health and development. We aim to improve the health of young people and communities by studying and addressing the influence of place, systems and relationships on health equity.