Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin offers FREE STD testing in April
This spring, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI) encourages people to talk openly with their partners about safer sex and STDs, get tested and get treated as part of GYT: Get Yourself Tested, a national campaign that takes place during STD Awareness Month. All PPWI health centers are offering free STD testing for some of the most common STDs throughout the month of April as part of GYT.
While getting tested for STDs and knowing your status is a normal part of staying healthy, the timing of GYT this year is especially significant in Wisconsin following the news of recently identified HIV and syphilis cases in Milwaukee.
Nationwide, the rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have all increased for the third year in a row, according to the CDC. Young people under 25 make up half of all STDs, and communities with structural barriers to care are disproportionately affected by HIV. STD rates are also skyrocketing across Wisconsin.
“Planned Parenthood is here to help you stay safe and healthy, and we’re proud to be part of the GYT effort,” said Meghan Benson, director of community education at PPWI. “We offer STD prevention options, testing, treatment, education and information to help you take charge of your sexual health.”
All STDs, even HIV, are treatable and many are curable. Early treatment can help prevent serious, lifelong health problems that can result from untreated STDs. Most STDs have no symptoms, so the only way to know your status is to get tested.
PPWI knows the best way to address increasing STD rates starts with education. In addition to school and community-based education programs for young people, parents and families, PPWI’s sex educators have developed a peer to peer youth health education program, a text line to provide honest, accurate information about sex and series of videosfocused on sex education.
“PPWI is committed to finding new, innovative ways to meet young people where they’re at to make sure they have the information they need about STDs and safer sex,” said Benson. “Our education programs provide communities with honest, accurate, age appropriate information about sexual decision making and staying healthy.”
PPWI is dedicated to making sure people have the tools they need to stay safe, healthy and strong. As the nation’s largest provider of sex education, Planned Parenthood works in schools and communities across the country to provide education programs and outreach. Our doors are open to everyone – regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, country of origin, faith, income and immigrant or refugee status.
To find a Planned Parenthood health center near you, or to fine more information about STDs, visit ppwi.org.