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April is GYT Month - Planned Parenthood Encourages Testing with Special Offer

Published: 04.10.12| Updated: 04.10.12

It's a "fact of life" that can be hard to believe: one in two sexually active young people will contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD) by age 25 -- and most won't know it1.

April is National STD Awareness Month and, since 2009, GYT Month! GYT (Get Yourself Talking, Get Yourself Tested) encourages young people to talk with health care providers and partners about getting tested for STDs. According to the CDC, approximately half of the estimated 19 million STDs occurring in the U.S. each year are among people age 25 and younger.

During April Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan (PPWNM) is offering a discounted STD testing package in support of GYT. New or current patients of PPWNM can get tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV - all three tests for just $50 through April 30.

"We are pleased to offer this special $50 testing package for GYT Month in order to shine a spotlight on how widespread STDs really are, and to make it affordable for people to maintain or improve their sexual health," said Bridget White, PPWNM vice president of medical services. "Since many STDs do not show any symptoms, testing and treatment is critical to reducing their spread. If left untreated, STDs can increase a person's risk of HIV infection, infertility, and cancer."

GYT is a national campaign supported by a broad coalition of partners, including the CDC and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, designed to address the high rates of STDs among those under 25. GYT public service messages air throughout the year on MTV channels with cross promotions at more than 5,000 health centers and community organizations nationwide. Extensive information resources - including a dedicated website (www.GYTnow.org) which provides basic information about common STDs, talking tips, and a zip code locator to find local testing locations - as well as a mobile testing locator, GYTNOW (498669) - provide the audience with more information. During April, the campaign scales up its presence by introducing new messaging and outreach.

PPWNM offers testing and treatment for a full range of STDs. Your clinician can help you decide which tests may be right for you. Call 800.230.PLAN (7526) for the Planned Parenthood health center nearest you, or log on to www.ppwnm.org for PPWNM health center locations.

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Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan (PPWNM) provides reproductive health care and sexuality education services at eight locations in Michigan. PPWNM is an affiliate of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Learn more at www.ppwnm.org.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America is the nation's leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate. We believe that everyone has the right to choose when or whether to have a child, and that every child should be wanted and loved. Planned Parenthood affiliates operate nearly 800 health centers nationwide, providing medical services and sexuality education for millions of women, men, and teenagers each year. We also work with allies worldwide to ensure that all women and men have the right and the means to meet their sexual and reproductive health care needs.

GYT launched in 2009 as an extension of a longstanding public information partnership between MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation. It is supported by a broad range of organizations including the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), American College Health Association (ACHA), American Social Health Association (ASHA), the National Chlamydia Coalition (NCC), the CDC, and various state and local health departments, colleges and universities, and other community groups and non-profits. Gilead Sciences, Inc. provides support and resources for select elements of the campaign. CDC provided assistance to ensure scientific accuracy of GYT health information. Comprehensive informational resources -- designed for Web and mobile applications -- provide facts and referrals to local health centers. For more information visit www.GYTNOW.org.

1 Cates JR, Herndon NL, Schulz S L, Darroch JE. (2004). Our voices, our lives, our futures: Youth and sexually transmitted diseases. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

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