Safe in the City


Denver Public Health
Education Development Center, Inc.
California State University, Long Beach, & Dept. of Health/Human Services
San Francisco Department of Public Healthand CAPS
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

New: Safe in the City is now a part of the CDC’s Diffusion of Effective Behavioral interventions (DEBI).

Why this project?

There exists a real market for simple HIV/STD prevention interventions that are both effective and likely to be implemented. In busy clinic settings, it is difficult to implement and maintain of HIV/STD prevention programs that involve counseling and/or multiple sessions. Clinic waiting rooms provide an often overlooked opportunity for delivering prevention information in high-risk populations. Waiting room interventions can deliver a dose of prevention to clinic patients at a teachable moment, when they are waiting to see a health provider and thinking about their health risks.


This collaborative research project investigated whether a brief waiting room intervention would reduce incident STD infections and impact risk behavior among STD clinic patrons.

Staff from all sites worked collaboratively with filmmaker Jesse Moss to develop a 20-minute video, Safe in the City, that models a variety of condom negotiation skills with heterosexual, gay, and bisexual characters of several races. Learn more about the video.

In this structural intervention, we showed the video and displayed related posters to all patrons in three publicly-funded STD clinic waiting rooms in Denver, CO, Long Beach, CA and San Francisco, CA. The video was shown on alternate months. The control group was comprised of patrons in the waiting rooms during the non-video month, who received standard clinic services (e.g., patient education print materials). Learn more about the waiting rooms.

Read the journal article on the development of the Safe in the City intervention.


We compared new incident STD infections (gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, syphilis and HIV) among the intervention and control groups up to 18 months after initial visit (N=40,000), using medical record and surveillance data.


Safe in the City intervention was associated with a 10% reduction in new STDs. The largest effect sizes were observed among male patients and those with baseline STDs. This reduction in STDs can have significant public health benefit. This easy-to-implement, low cost intervention has the potential to reach large numbers of STD clinic patients.

Read the journal article: Effect of a Brief Video Intervention on Incident Infection among Patients Attending Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinics.


Meet the Safe in the City staff.

For more information about this project and to obtain a copy of the intervention, please see the Safe in the City website.

Safe in the City featured on the National Prevention Information Network andScience Codex

Watch Safe in the City videos on YouTube

Last modified: October 22, 2012