One in two sexually active young people in the U.S. will contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD) by the time they’re 25 – and most won’t know it. GYT: Get Yourself Tested national campaign promotes sexual health and addresses the disproportionately high rates of STDs — including HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea — among young people. Throughout the month of April, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI) offers FREE STD testing, regardless of gender, in all family planning health centers.
“Getting tested shows you care about yourself and your partner. Many STDs cause no symptoms, so the only way to know your status for sure is to get tested,” said Meg Robertson, Director of Clinical Services and Nurse Practitioner. “We know that when not treated, STDs can increase the risk of infertility and cervical cancer, but virtually all STDs, including HIV, are treatable and many are curable. The sooner you know your status, the sooner you can get treated.”
Half of the estimated 20 million sexually transmitted diseases contracted each year occur among the under-25 age group, although they only represent one quarter of the sexually active population.
“Tests are easy, non-invasive, and they’re one of the most important things you can do to protect your health,” said Robertson.
As part of the effort to create the healthiest generation ever, Planned Parenthood works every day to reduce the rates of sexually transmitted diseases through education, testing, treatment and prevention. People interested in preventing the transmission of HPV – the most commonly transmitted STD – and reproductive cancers can also get the HPV vaccine, regardless of gender, at Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood’s highly trained physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals provide high-quality, affordable, and safe health care to more than 60,000 people each year.
Individuals can find a Planned Parenthood health center or get more information by visiting PPWI.org or text “safersex” to 69866.
GYT was launched in April 2009 as an ongoing promotion under It’s Your (Sex) Life, a longstanding public information partnership of MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation. Supporting partners of GYT include: American College Health Association (ACHA), Kaiser Family Foundation, National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), MTV and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Technical consultation is provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).