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Sexual + Being

Changing Behavior

The Situation
Engaging Residents on Sexual Health

For more than 10 years, Octane has collaborated as subject matter experts for DC Health, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration (HAHSTA) to promote conversations about sexual health in the District. While Octane has effectively positioned HAHSTA to lead that conversation, they needed a general awareness campaign to act as a central campaign for all of their resources. The campaign was also charged with helping DC residents have positive conversations about sexual health.


While Octane’s work through the years has helped the District work towards its goal of cutting new HIV infections in the city in half by 2020, more overarching sexual health awareness was needed to meet this goal.


Octane and HAHSTA worked together to create a highly effective campaign, “Sexual + Being,” to strategically target and educate individual communities, and then direct them to resources for all their sexual health needs. With this campaign, as well as all of the other campaigns Octane has developed for HAHSTA, it was crucial to instill trust within the community through outreach, social media engagement and a paid media buy.

“Be Sex Positive” was not only the main message communicated through all of “Sexual + Being” campaign materials, but it acted as a mantra for the sex positive movement that spread throughout the District.

Key Findings

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• Start a sex positive movement that motivates residents to take control of their sexual health
• Eliminate the stigma surrounding sex and sexual health
• Motivate individuals to take advantage of the free resources and testing

The Creative

The “Sexual + Being” campaign is grounded in research and uses a variety of creative tactics to establish a deep connection with DC residents. From the insights uncovered, Octane designed and developed a memorable and bold brand identity that reflected the target audience while exuding confidence.

Traditional advertising, print materials and digital advertising reminded DC residents to be “Sex Positive” while influencer partnerships, relatable videos and social content helped bring Octane’s comprehensive social strategy to life and extend the reach of the campaign.

To ensure all DC residents were reached in an effective manner, Octane created a Spanish-first campaign along with Spanish resources. offers empowering information about being “Sex Positive,” sexual health information, local resources and engaging stories through blog posts. The website is also available in Spanish.

The Results

“Sexual + Being” surprised and delighted the DC community as traditional advertising took over their streets and “Be Sex Positive” posts filled their social feeds. This bold, unapologetic campaign empowered people to be proud beings of the District who are comfortable talking about sexual health and their needs. offers empowering information about being “Sex Positive,” sexual health information, local resources and engaging stories through blog posts.

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Within the DC marketplace, the “Sexual + Being” campaign cultivated sex-positive conversations and spurred people to take action to protect their sexual health.

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