Mpox Awareness - Help Prevent Spread

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Since the outbreak of mpox in May, the virus has spread to thousands of people, including cisgender and transgender gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM).

The NYS Health Department is calling on all students and student associations in New York State colleges, universities, and graduate schools to get the word out through a video contest. We are inviting you to produce up to a 15-second video for social media educating other students about mpox and how to prevent it. We will select six winners (1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each category – live action and animation) and promote their videos on State Health Department social media platforms to help spread the word on mpox. Prizes of Amazon, grocery or gas gift cards will be awarded in each category as follows – 1st Prize, $500; 2nd prize; $300 and 3rd prize, $200.

You have a unique voice, and we want everyone to hear it. Submit your videos before January 20th to help fight mpox and protect the health of your fellow New Yorkers.


Application Period

We will start accepting submissions on October 24, 2022. The contest ends on January 20, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Submissions will be closed after this time.


Contestants must be meet both the following criteria:

  1. Enrolled in a college or university in New York State at the undergraduate or graduate level or a NYS resident who is enrolled in an out of state college or university; and
  2. Age 18-26 years old.

Contest Guidelines

All submissions MUST follow each of our contest rules. Failure to meet ALL these rules will lead to disqualification.

  • Content must relate to mpox and educate young adults ages 18 – 26 about mpox, and its transmission, dangers, and/or prevention.
  • Video must address at least one of the topics listed below in the Approved Messaging section.
  • Only eligible contestants (see above) may submit a video
  • If any of your collaborators is a minor (age <17 years), please make sure a parent or guardian signs their video release waiver form.
  • Video may be live action, animation, or a combination of both.
  • No copyrighted music or images. All assets must be original or copyright free. If using copyright free assets, please give credit on the entry form
  • Video specs:
    • Maximum length of video - 15 seconds
    • Minimum resolution - 540 x 960 px or 640 x 640 px
    • Maximum file size - 500 MB

All submissions must follow the content policies of the following social media platforms – TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

How to Submit

Contestants must submit the following items:

  1. A URL for your video. The video must follow all Contest Guidelines (see above) and meet video specs for all social media platforms.
  2. An entry form with all necessary information

Both the entry form and the videos must be submitted at the same time. You can email the completed entry form to


NYSDOH judges will select the top three videos based on the following criteria:


Is the message communicated clearly?


Is the concept clever or funny? Will it grab viewers' attention?

Follows Rules

Did the video follow all the Contest Guidelines? Does the message follow the Approved Messaging?

Judges will begin reviewing submissions after the application period has ended.

Winners will be announced on the State Health Department website and social media channels. Those who submit the winning videos will also receive an email notification.

Approved Messaging

It's important to communicate factual information in public health, especially on social media. We have a list of approved messaging on mpox dangers, transmission, and prevention below so you don't have to hit the books. Of course, for your video, we want to hear your unique voice. So get creative!

  • What are the symptoms of mpox?
    • Rashes, bumps, or blisters on or around the genitals or in other areas like your hands, feet, chest, or face. Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, and fatigue.
    • These symptoms may occur before or after the rash appears, or not at all.
  • How does mpox spread? mpox is spread through close, physical contact between individuals. This includes:
    • Direct contact with mpox sores or rashes on someone who has mpox.
    • Respiratory droplets or oral fluids from someone with mpox, particularly for those who have close contact with the person or are around them for a long period of time.
    • It can also be spread through contact with objects or fabrics (e.g., clothing, bedding, towels) that have been used by someone with mpox.
  • How can I protect myself? New Yorkers can protect themselves by taking simple steps, which are especially important for those who may be at higher risk for severe disease, including people with weakened immune systems:
    • Ask your sexual partners whether they have a rash or other symptoms consistent with mpox.
    • Avoid skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a rash or other mpox-related symptoms.
    • If you are exposed or experience symptoms, make sure to reach out to a health care provider.
    • Follow reputable sources of health information, including the State Health Department, NYC Health Department, CDC, and your county health department.
  • What should I do if I was exposed or have symptoms consistent with mpox?
    • New Yorkers who experience symptoms consistent with mpox, such as characteristic rashes or lesions, should contact their health care provider for a risk assessment. This includes anyone who traveled to countries where mpox cases have been reported or has had contact with someone who has a similar rash, or who received a diagnosis of suspected or confirmed mpox.
  • Are there treatments available?
    • Antiviral medications exist to treat mpox, which may be appropriate for some people. Vaccines exist that can help reduce the chance and severity of infection in those who have been exposed.
    • New Yorkers who develop a rash or skin lesions should be sure to:
      • Keep rash areas clean and dry to protect against secondary infections
      • Be conscious of sun exposure to avoid discoloring exposed lesions
      • Talk to a health care provider about over-the-counter oral antihistamines and topical agents such as calamine lotion, cortisone 10, petroleum jelly, and lidocaine cream or gels
      • Consider over-the-counter stool softeners to help reduce peri-anal discomfort
    • New Yorkers who experience a painful rash or skin lesion should contact a health care provider about medication to help with pain management. Prescription medicated mouthwashes and topical gels can provide pain relief and keep rashes and lesions clean and are widely available.


You can find more information about mpox on the State Health Department's mpox page.