ESSEX, Conn., May 8 /PRNewswire/ — Another first has emerged from the San Francisco Department of Public Health, STD Prevention and Control Branch. Begun in late April, San Francisco youth have access to sexual health information via text messaging. The first of its kind in the U.S., SEXINFO was developed by Internet Sexuality Information Services, Inc. (ISIS) and engineered by HipCricket, Inc., a leading provider of full-service mobile marketing services.
SexInfo is an information and referral service for youth that can be accessed by text-ing “SEXINFO” from any wireless phone to either a 10-digit number (MetroPCS users) or a 5-digit number (all others). Information provided on the service answers common questions from at-risk, sexually active youth, such as, “What is gonorrhea?” and “What should I do if the condom broke?” or “Where do I go if I think I might be pregnant?”
Focus groups of youth gathered to discuss the service and assist with its development. The young people overwhelmingly had access to unlimited text messaging on their phones and considered SexInfo a private service as long as they initiate the messaging. “SexInfo empowers youth to get answers to their burning questions in a safe and private way,” says Deb Levine, Executive Director of ISIS.
“We are pleased to be ISIS’s technology partner in SexInfo”, said Graham Knowles, a Managing Director of HipCricket. “Many of our clients use our wireless services to reach the elusive 12-24 year old target audience.”
In 2005 gonorrhea rates among African-American youth increased more than 100%. Dr. Jeffrey D. Klausner, Director of STD Prevention and Control stated, “SexInfo is remarkably innovative, timely and addresses a key way young people today access information. It will make it easier for young people to get tested and treated quickly for these types of infections.”
Youth who tested the service said, “It worked very well. It replied back to me very quickly…in under a minute.”
About HipCricket, Inc.
HipCricket(R) is a leading provider of full-service wireless marketing solutions for media, entertainment, and brand marketers. HipCricket combines senior marketing expertise with state-of-the-art mobile and event marketing technologies to offer clients unprecedented interactivity with their consumers, viewers, listeners or customers on a one-to-one personal level.