Using Social Media to Raise Awareness on Chlamydia in a Malaysian

Senior (College 4th year) ・Healthcare&Medicine ・MLA ・11 Sources

One of the recommendations given by the World Health Organization on preventing sexually transmitted diseases is educating people on sexual health. Online social media presents robust platforms for promotion of reproductive health awareness (Gabarron, Elia and Wynn, Rolf). A study conducted by S, Ramachandran and Y F, Ngeow, indicates that  Chlamydia is the most frequently occurring STI among prostitutes in Mlaysia at 26.5% with younger women below age 20 having higher rates of infection compared to older ones.


Mass media campaigns have for a long time been used for health promotions campaigns. However, studies have shown that some mass media campaigns such as the use of leaflets and posters are not very useful because individuals might feel offended when given flyers on STIs in public areas (Freeman, Elaine et al. 1). As the government of Malaysia, the most appropriate strategy to raise awareness on Chlamydia would be to use social media since it provides privacy for the audience to access relevant information. Furthermore, several studies have approved of the effectiveness of interventions that incorporate social marketing in raising sexual health awareness (Philipson et al. 1). A report by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) shows that media campaigns can still be useful when used in increasing awareness as well as encouraging more screening for STIs the without other support programs. Other studies by Quattrin Rossana et al. and M.Y et al. found that media campaigns have a 69% possibility of persuading individuals to change behaviour, 32% increased knowledge on the disease and 50% of attitude change towards illness. Moreover, media campaigns can be conducted alone or linked to other program mechanisms like institutional or clinical outreach; and the drives can also be designed to take shorter or more extended periods (Wakefield, Melanie et al. Loken, 1).


Messages for social media campaigns must be designed to meet the needs of specific different stages for the target population since individuals within the group have various stages of readiness for change (Rice, Ronald E 1). In other words, it's hard to develop information campaigns that suit all the sections of the target audience, and that can leave a more substantial portion of the audience uncovered (Gobin. Maya et al. 1). Privacy issues do arise with social media use, and they can have a negative impact on sexual health campaigns run on the platforms (Fung, Issac Chung-Hai, Tse, Zion Tsz-Ho and Fu, King Wa 1). With many people becoming cautious of the pages they visit, and what they do on social media, it is possible some members of the target population may miss the campaign because of privacy settings on their accounts.

Works Cited

"A Brief Overview of the Use of New Media in Health Campaigns and Interventions | Health Games Research." Healthgamesresearch.Org, 2012,

Chen, Marcus Y et al. "Evidence for the Effectiveness of A Chlamydia Awareness Campaign: Increased Population Rates of Chlamydia Testing and Detection." International Journal of STD & AIDS, vol 18, no. 4, 2007, pp. 239-243. SAGE Publications, doi: 10.1258/095646207780658854.

Freeman, Elaine et al. "Promoting Chlamydia Screening With Posters and Leaflets In General Practice - A Qualitative Study." BMC Public Health, vol 9, no. 1, 2009, Springer Nature, doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-9-383.

Fung, Issac Chun-Hai et al. "The Use of Social Media in Public Health Surveillance." Western Pac Surveill Response, vol 6, no. 2, 2015, pp. 3-6. doi:10.5365/WPSAR.2015.6.1.019.

Gabarron, Elia, and Rolf Wynn. "Use of Social Media for Sexual Health Promotion: A Scoping Review." Global Health Action, vol 9, no. 1, 2016, p. 32193. Informa UK Limited, doi:10.3402/gha.v9.32193.

Gobin, Maya et al. "Do Sexual Health Campaigns Work? An Outcome Evaluation Of A Media Campaign To Increase Chlamydia Testing Among Young People Aged 15–24 In England." BMC Public Health, vol 13, no. 1, 2013, Springer Nature, doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-484.

Phillipson, Lyn et al. "A Review Of Current Practices To Increase Chlamydia Screening In The Community - A Consumer-Centred Social Marketing Perspective." Health Expectations, vol 19, no. 1, 2015, pp. 5-25. Wiley-Blackwell, doi:10.1111/hex.12337.

Quattrin, Rosanna. "Health Promotion Campaigns and Mass Media: Looking For Evidence." Primary Health Care: Open Access, vol 05, no. 01, 2015, OMICS Publishing Group, doi:10.4172/2167-1079.1000190.

Ramachandran, S, and Y F Ngeow. "The Prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Diseases among Prostitutes in Malaysia.” Sexually Transmitted Infections, vol 66, no. 5, 1990, pp. 334-336. BMJ, doi:10.1136/sti.66.5.334.

Summary of a Review of the Literature: Programs to Promote Chlamydia Screening. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007,

Wakefield, Melanie A et al. "Use of Mass Media Campaigns to Change Health Behaviour." The Lancet, vol 376, no. 9748, 2010, pp. 1261-1271. Elsevier BV, doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(10)60809-4.

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