NCSH News & Notes 

Being sexually healthy means being able to enjoy a healthier body, a satisfying sexual life, positive relationships, and peace of mind.
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NCSH Funding Update
We are very happy to announce that CDC will be funding the NCSH for another five years!  
Sexual Health in the News
Interested in receiving a weekly email digest of sexual health topics trending in the media? Sign up for the NCSH's Sexual Health in the News here
New Members
A big welcome to our newest members: Deb Levine, Judith Deshpande, Shannon Chavez, Futures Without Violence, Pink Tent, and the Black Women's Health Imperative. We look forward to collaborating with you on this exciting and important work!   
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Issue: 7
October 2017
This newsletter was created to keep you up-to-date on the National Coalition for Sexual Health (NCSH). Feel free to share this with your colleagues.
Fifth Annual NCSH Meeting 
The NCSH held its fifth annual meeting on Thursday, September 7, 2017, in Washington, DC. The meeting featured:

*   Opening remarks by Dr. Gail Bolan, Director, Division of STD Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She discussed trends and key issues in sexual health and applauded the coalition's many accomplishments.  

*   A dynamic keynote presentation by Chitra Panjabi, President and CEO of SIECUS, who described  the many challenges currently facing sexual health in the US, as well existing opportunities at the federal, state, and local levels to advocate for positive change.

*   An engaging panel discussion, Equipping Youth for Healthy Romantic Relationships: What Works? that provided an overview of the value of relationship education for middle school-aged youth and highlighted effective, evidence-based programs. Debra Hauser, President, Advocates for Youth, moderated this panel, and the speakers were Dr. Karin Coyle, Chief Science Officer, ETR; Jen Slonaker, Vice President of Education and Organizational Development, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts; and Lisa Sohn, Program Director, Health, at Futures Without Violence.

*   A soft launch of the "Five Action Steps to Good Sexual Health." NCSH Co-Directors Susan Gilbert and Alyson Kristensen presented an overview of the action steps, a demo of the new website, and preliminary plans for launching and promoting the Action Steps.

*   An update on recent coalition activities and accomplishments, including a national media campaign to launch the Spanish-language version of "Take Charge of Your Sexual Health;" and the release and promotion of "Sexual Health and Your Patients: A Provider's Guide."

Attendees also participated in CAG and HCAG working sessions. The CAG brainstormed story ideas relating to the Action Steps to pitch to the media, while the HCAG planned future activities. Meeting presentations are available here, and a full meeting summary can be read here.

Over the past six months, NCSH has secured media coverage on a wide variety of sexual topics. 17 stories have been obtained in leading, national outlets including U.S. News & World Report (2 stories), Refinery29 (4 stories), Univision (2 stories),
Vice Health,, SELF, (3 stories),, EL Zol CBS Radio, and Health Magazine.

Featuring interviews with 12 different NCSH sexual health experts, these stories have generated up to 147 million audience impressions.  Topics addressed include ACA coverage of sexual health services, birth control update, risks of oral sex, dating with herpes, sexual assault, the Spanish-language NCSH "Take Charge" guide, and communicating about sexual desires. Visit the NCSH's Media Center to read many of these articles, plus others.     
Presentations at 2017 Sexual Health Conference
This summer, NCSH co-directors, Susan Gilbert and Alyson Kristensen, presented at the 2017 National Sexual Health Conference in Denver. Susan Gilbert presented "Sound Bites and Proof Points: S ecuring Media Coverage of Sexual Health" to help organizations learn how to use the media to promote sexual health content. She addressed how to generate media interest, and then walked the audience through the steps to working effectively with reporters, using NCSH materials and tools as illustrations. Alyson Kristensen presented to a clinical audience on "Improving Provider-Patient Communication About Sexual Health." This presentation described the paradox of how sex is pervasive in popular culture, yet is still difficult to discuss in the health care encounter. It then focused on the NCSH's "Sexual Health and Your Patients: A Provider's Guide" to help providers deliver better sexual health care, including taking a sexual history and delivering recommended preventive services.  
Soft Launch of the Five Action Steps to Good Sexual Health
Driven by the CAG, The Five Action Steps is a long-running initiative designed to help consumers protect and improve sexual health.
Each step includes the benefits of taking the step, practical tips, real-life scenarios, conversation starters, and resources to learn more. Draft content of Steps 1-4 was pre-tested with the public through eight focus groups held in Los Angeles and Baltimore with teens and adults aged 15-54. Most identified strongly with the topics, thought the tone was positive, and believed it provided practical scenarios and suggestions. Based on consumer feedback, the content has been revised, as needed, and finalized.

NCSH has developed a website to make this content easily accessible to the public. It features a contemporary scrolling design with significant white space, making it appealing, and easy to read and navigate.
The NCSH plans to launch the Action Steps and website in early 2018 through a national media campaign. The goals of this launch will include: 1) creating awareness of the Steps, core content and website among the public, and 2) encouraging the public to access the website. To do so, NCSH will implement a long-term media campaign, leverage existing media partnerships, and encourage NCSH members and non-members to promote the Action Steps and website. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting initiative in the next NCSH News & Notes!