National campaign to increase STD awareness and testing; PPINK to offer free testing
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) announced today that it will offer free STD and HIV tests at its health centers April 20-25 as part of the seventh annual GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign.
GYT is a national campaign designed to promote sexual health and address the disproportionately high rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) — including HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea — among young people under 25.
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. In fact, one in two sexually active young people in the U.S. will contract an STD by the time they’re 25 — and most won’t know it.
“Getting tested and using condoms is simply a basic part of staying healthy and taking control of your sex life,” said Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of PPINK. “We are proud to offer affordable STD testing and treatment, and sex education and information, to help ensure that young people stay healthy and safe.”
From April 20-25, PPINK will offer free HIV/chlamydia/gonorrhea tests at select health centers in Indiana and Kentucky, along with personal, confidential counseling with one of our health professionals. Appointments are strongly encouraged—schedule an appointment online or call 800-230-PLAN. The participating health centers are:
- Avon, 8102 Kingston Street, Suite 100
- Bloomington, 421 South College Avenue
- Columbus, 3200 Sycamore Court, Suite 2C
- Evansville, 125 North Weinbach, Suite 120
- Fishers, 8937 Technology Drive
- Fort Wayne, 3914 West Jefferson Boulevard
- Hammond, 7131 Indianapolis Boulevard
- Indianapolis Eastside, 9385 East Washington Street
- Indianapolis Midtown, 3750 North Meridian Street, # 100
- Indianapolis Southside, 935 East Hanna Avenue, Suite A
- Lafayette, 964 Mezzanine Drive
- Lexington, 268 Southland Drive, Suite 120
- Louisville, 1025 S. 2nd Street
- Merrillville, 8645 Connecticut Street
- Mishawaka, 3005 Grape Road, #B
- Muncie, 3550 West Fox Ridge Lane
- Terre Haute, 30 South Third Street
- Valparaiso, 2803 Boilermaker Court, #1-F
In March, Gov. Mike Pence declared a public health emergency in Scott County when a Southeastern Indiana HIV outbreak reached epidemic proportions. According to a March 27 Indiana State Department of Health news release, all of the positive cases were linked to injection drug abuse, “with some individuals also reporting sexual intercourse as a possible mode of transmission.”
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, and treatment. Every year, Planned Parenthood health centers provide nearly 4.5 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
“The good news is that nearly all STDs, including HIV, are treatable and many are curable,” Cockrum said. “The sooner you know your status, the sooner you can get treated and avoid any serious health problems that can result from untreated STDs.”
To find the Planned Parenthood health center nearest you, or to get more information on STDs and testing, visit plannedparenthood.org or call 800-230-PLAN.
Responding to the fact that young people account for half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) occurring in the U.S. each year — and most don’t know they are infected — the GYT campaign is a youthful, empowering social movement to encourage young people to get tested and treated, as needed, for STDs, including HIV. GYT increases awareness about STDs and how to prevent them, links young people to STD testing services, and promotes a more open dialogue with partners and health care providers.
GYT encourages testing for STDs, including HIV, as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and empowers young people to have an open dialogue about STDs.
Research released last year suggests that the GYT campaign has successfully increased STD testing among young people, including a 71 percent increase in testing at Planned Parenthood affiliates from 2008 to 2010.
GYT was launched in April 2009 as an ongoing promotion under It’s Your (Sex) Life, a long-standing 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).
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) provides high-quality health care to more than 55,000 men and women each year at our health centers across two states. Our centers are staffed by skilled clinicians and highly trained health care professionals. 93% of our nonprofit’s services are preventive in nature and include Pap tests, breast and testicular cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment, and annual wellness exams. Through the Sara and Albert Reuben Partners in Health Education initiative, PPINK also provides sexuality and reproductive health education programs, equipping people to make responsible decisions so that families thrive in Indiana and Kentucky.
PPINK’s doors are open to all who need care and we provide our services in a confidential, compassionate and non-judgmental manner. We accept Medicaid and insurance.