New York, NY — Throughout National Men’s Health Week (June 15-21), Planned Parenthood Federation of America is encouraging men to take charge of their sexual health with regular checkups and screenings, as well as regular testing for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, if they are sexually active.
“Everyone deserves a sex life that’s as fun and healthy as possible, and part of that means taking care of your body. Just like regular exercise, regular checkups are important for your health,” said Dr. Vanessa Cullins, vice president of external medical affairs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “The truth is that not enough men get the checkups and preventive care they need. It can be easy to take our health for granted, but preventive care is an important part of staying safe, healthy, and happy.”
Being responsible and looking out for your health and the health of your partner doesn’t have to take the “sexy” out of sex. In fact, taking care of each other’s health can build intimacy. And regular checkups can help find any problems before they become serious. Men shouldn’t wait until they’re sick or experiencing something that feels out of the ordinary to make an appointment.
“Getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is a basic part of staying healthy and taking control of your sex life — and it’s easier than ever before,” Dr. Cullins added. “Getting tested and knowing your status shows you care about yourself and your partner.”
- STD tests are generally quick, simple, and painless. For example, rapid HIV tests can provide results in as fast as 20 minutes from just a swab inside the mouth. Many other common STDs simply require a urine sample.
- Many STDs don’t cause any symptoms, so the only way to know your status for sure is to get tested. If you’re unsure if you should get tested, take this quick quiz to find out.
- The good news is that all STDs, even HIV, are treatable and most are curable.
- The sooner you know your status, the better you can protect your health and the health of your partner(s). If you do have an infection, early treatment can help prevent serious, lifelong health problems that can result from untreated STDs.
- Condoms used consistently and correctly provide the best protection against STDs, and can actually enhance your sex life: People who use condoms rate their sexual experiences as just as pleasurable as people who don’t.
“Planned Parenthood is proud to be a source of accurate, nonjudgmental, and confidential health care for men across the country. We’re here to answer any questions you might have about your sexual health, and our doors are open to everyone," Dr. Cullins said. “It’s important not to let embarrassment or anxiety get in the way of taking care of yourself and your body. Remember that a preventive visit to a health care provider is an opportunity for you to ask any questions you have about your body and your health.”
In the last 10 years, Planned Parenthood has doubled the number of male patients we see nationally. Between 2003 and 2013, there was a 99 percent increase in Planned Parenthood male clients. Getting tested for sexually transmitted infections at Planned Parenthood is easy. In fact, 23 percent of the services we provide for men are HIV tests, 30 percent are gonorrhea tests, and 30 percent are chlamydia tests.
You can rely on Planned Parenthood for men’s health services including STD testing and treatment, and sex education and information to help you take charge of your sexual health. Some Planned Parenthood health centers offer other services for men, including online health services, cancer screenings, vasectomies, infertility screenings and referrals, erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation support, physical exams, smoking cessation, and treatment and referrals for other conditions. Planned Parenthood is proud to provide health services and information to gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
June 15, 2015