National "GYT: Get Yourself Tested" campaign reaches youth to increase STD awareness and testing.
(New Haven, Conn.) — April 2014 marks the sixth annual GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign. In recognition of this national campaign, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) encourages young people to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases.
The GYT campaign is a youthful, empowering social movement emphasizing the importance of young people getting tested and treated for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV.
GYT is designed to promote sexual health and address the disproportionately high rates of STDs — including, chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV — among young people under 25. Although this age group only represents 25 percent of the sexually active population, half of the estimated 20 million STDs contracted each year occur among people under the age of 25. One in two sexually active young people in the United States will contract a STD by the time they are 25 and most will not know it.
"Getting tested is a basic part of staying healthy. There are many resources available that can help one take control of their sex life," said Kafi Rouse Director of Public Relations and Marketing with Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. "We are proud to offer affordable STD testing and treatment, and comprehensive sexual health education and information to help young people stay healthy and safe."
The GYT campaign’s efforts to promote discussion and testing of STDs among young people are making a difference. A new study published in the March 2014 issue of Sexually Transmitted Diseases found evidence that suggests the GYT campaign has successfully increased STD testing among youth during STD Awareness Month in April.
The Get Yourself Tested campaign is a collaborative effort of the American College Health Association, the Kaiser Family Foundation, MTV, National Coalition of STD Directors and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, with technical consultation provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Nearly all STDs, including HIV, are treatable and many are curable," said Rouse. "The sooner a person knows their status, the sooner they can get treated and avoid serious health problems that can result from untreated STDs."
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. Annually, PPSNE health centers provide more than 37,250 tests and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
To learn more about PPSNE comprehensive sexual health education and programs for youth, call (203) 865-5158 or visit ppsne.org.
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) is one of the region’s largest providers of family planning and reproductive health care services. Since 1923, PPSNE has evolved into an organization with 18 health centers in Connecticut and Rhode Island, delivering care to over 70,000 patients annually, and 90 percent of the services provided are preventive.