COLUMBUS, OH — Preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is a core part of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio’s (PPGOH) health and education services. In 2017, PPGOH performed 127,232 STI tests at their 19 health centers across Ohio. This April, during Get Yourself Tested Month, Planned Parenthood urges all Ohioans to learn about STIs, including chlamydia and gonorrhea, and engage in safer sex with their partner.
In 2016, Ohio ranked as the 14th most sexually diseased state in the nation. Ohio has a chlamydia transmission rate of 490 per 100,000 people, with some cities having many times that proportion, including Cleveland (1,806), Canton (1,620.1), and Youngstown (1503.7). Testing for STIs is painless and fast, and most infections are easily treated with antibiotics. Get Yourself Tested Month is a time for our Ohio communities to take charge of their sexual health.
Statement from Lillian Williams, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio Vice President of Health Services:
“Open, honest communication about STIs is a critical skill that everyone needs to learn in order to be safe and healthy. Planned Parenthood is proud to offer testing in our health centers across Ohio, on college campuses, at health fairs, and in some of our most vulnerable communities.
“Sex should be consensual, healthy, pleasurable, safe, and respectful. Part of this power is knowing your status and ensuring you don’t put your partner at risk. At Planned Parenthood, we want to give you the tools to care for yourself and your partner’s health.”
Specifically this month, Planned Parenthood encourages young people to get tested and treated for STIs and HIV. Sexually active young people account for half of the 20 million new STIs that occur each year, and many of them don’t know they’re infected. In coordination with Planned Parenthood Generation Action groups across Ohio, PPGOH will be offering special on-campus testing events throughout the month.
As the nation’s largest provider of sex education, Planned Parenthood works every day to help young people, families, and communities prevent STIs and unintended pregnancies, and help keep people safe and healthy. Patients can be tested for STIs at all Planned Parenthood health centers and, while most insurance is accepted, tests are offered at free or reduced cost for those that qualify.
About Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio: The mission of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio is to protect, promote, and provide empowered health care for generations of women, men, and families across Ohio. PPGOH serves approximately 64,000 patients annually throughout Ohio including metropolitan areas in Toledo, Akron, Canton, Youngstown, Mansfield, Cleveland, Columbus, and Athens. www.ppgoh.org