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  • Writer's pictureReggie Winston

Free Haircut Pop-Up Shop at St. Augustine University

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

On March 9th, Grooming Resources and Opportunities 501c3 (GRO), in partnership with The

University. We were honored to have Reggie Jackson Airport Honda sponsor the pop-up shop

for us. The event offered free haircuts to students who got tested for STDs and also provided

them with education on safe sex.

The four-hour event was a great opportunity for students to learn about safe sex while getting a fresh haircut. Students were able to connect with healthcare professionals from Wake County Health & Human Services who provided HIV and STD screenings. Not only did they receive the screenings, they were also provided with condoms and information on engaging in safe sex. It was also the week leading up to spring break for the students. GRO wanted to help ensure the students looked their best and knew their health status before going out to celebrate. As of September 2021, Raleigh, North Carolina had a reported chlamydia rate of 1,188 cases per 100,000 people, a gonorrhea rate of 297 cases per 100,000 people, and a syphilis rate of 18 cases per 100,000 people.

Compared to other cities in the United States, Raleigh's STD rates were generally lower than

in many major metropolitan areas, such as Atlanta, Baltimore, and New Orleans, but higher than in some other cities like Boston, Denver, and San Francisco. When compared to other states, North Carolina had an overall chlamydia rate of 548 cases per 100,000 people, a gonorrhea rate of 160 cases per 100,000 people, and a syphilis rate of 10 cases per 100,000 people, placing it in the middle of the pack for STD rates in the United States.

It's worth noting that STD rates can fluctuate over time and can be affected by a variety of

factors, including testing rates and demographics. It's important for individuals to practice safe sex and get regular STD testing to protect their own health and help reduce the spread of STDs in their communities.

Linking free haircuts to getting tested for STDs and HIV can be a compelling way to promote

awareness and encourage students to take their sexual health seriously. Here are some

potential benefits of having a pop-up shop with this approach at St. Augustine University:

1. Promote sexual health awareness: The initiative could serve as a platform for

disseminating information about STDs and HIV and encouraging students to take proactive steps towards their sexual health.

2. Encourage testing: The free haircuts can be an incentive for students to get tested for

STDs and HIV, which can help identify infections early and prevent the spread of these


3. Reduce stigma: By normalizing conversations around sexual health and creating a

space for students to get tested and receive haircuts without judgment, the initiative could help reduce stigma associated with STDs and HIV.

4. Increase engagement: A pop-up shop that offers free haircuts and testing could attract

a larger audience than a traditional health fair, making it more likely that students will engage with the initiative.

Overall, combining haircuts with STD and HIV testing could be an effective way to promote sexual health and encourage students to take an active role in maintaining their well-being.

The event was a great success, with positive feedback from both students and staff at St. Augustine University. By partnering with The Bar Ber Shop, Wake County Health & Human

Services, and Reggie Jackson Airport Honda, GRO was able to provide a range of services that catered to the needs of the St. Aug community. We look forward to more events like this in the future! If you’re interested in GRO 501c3 coming out to your university, please leave your contact information in the comment section below!


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