Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — ISIS, Inc., has partnered with the California Family Health Council (CFHC), and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), STD Control Branch, to launch a statewide text messaging program for youth. The service, called Hookup, provides young people with accurate and relevant sexual health information plus a geo-targeted search for free and low-cost STD testing and reproductive health clinics throughout the State.
“We are thrilled to expand ISIS’ SexINFO program — the first-ever text messaging service for youth — beyond San Francisco to reach larger numbers of California youth. Hookup is an excellent example of a low-cost way to use health IT and mobile technology to help youth access the services they need,” says Deb Levine, Executive Director of ISIS.
California is going to be the first state with a text-messaging program that connects high-risk teens and young adults to available sexual and reproductive health services. To use the service, youth text the word ‘hookup’ to the phone number 365247 and are signed up for weekly health tips. Each tip contains a prompt to text the word ‘clinic’ plus a zip code to get contact information for two local clinics.
All tips have been informed by California youth to assure the answers provided are relevant to the issues on the minds of youth today. Maryjane Puffer, Director, Clinical and Community Health Programs at CFHC, points out that Hookup 365247 will be coordinated with Teensource — CFHC’s educational website for teens and young adults aged 13-24 (http://www.teensource.org). The website offers in-depth information about how to make responsible sexual choices, to complement the SMS text messages and clinic referrals.