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National “GYT: Get Yourself Tested” Campaign Reaching Youth to Increase STD Awareness and Testing

[Burlington, VT] — The seventh annual GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign kicks off in April (STD Awareness Month) with online and on-the-ground activities across the country. 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. The campaign is a collaborative effort of the American College Health Association (ACHA), the Kaiser Family Foundation, MTV, National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, with technical consultation provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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 — and these simple actions can actually make sex more enjoyable by taking away some of the stress,” said Donna Burkett, MD, Medical Director at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE). “At PPNNE we’re proud to offer affordable STD testing and treatment, and sex education and information, to help ensure that young people stay healthy and safe.”

PPNNE will mark GYT month with a series of online and in-person events including tabling, movie screenings and a sex trivia night on April 28th at the Monkey House in Winooski.

“The good news is that nearly all STDs, including HIV, are treatable and many are curable,” said Burkett. “The sooner you know your status, the sooner you can get treated and avoid any serious health problems that can result from untreated STDs.”

Planned Parenthood works every day to reduce the rates of sexually transmitted diseases through education, testing, and treatment. Last year, PPNNE provided 29,372 STD tests at twelve health centers in Vermont.

To find the Planned Parenthood New Hampshire health center nearest you, or to get more information on STDs and testing, visit http://bit.ly/ppgyt or call 1-866-476-1321.