OMG, GYT (Get Your Test)



Recent funding concerns for vital programs like reproductive health, women's wellness, awareness and education serve as a reminder on the importance of prevention. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) has designated the month of April as STD Awareness Month. Statistics provided by PPRM show that in the United States, a staggering one in two sexually active young people will contract an STD by age 25. Even more troubling, is that most won't know they're infected.

This month, PPRM partners with MTV, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the CDC, for the third annual GYT: Get Yourself Tested Campaign. GYT will officially kickoff April 20 with a concert hosted by PPRM at 3 Kings Tavern in Denver. The concert will feature a cover band named Anne Wilson (not to be confused with the lead singer of Heart).

The campaign aims to raise awareness surrounding prevention, STD testing procedures, and health provider information. The GYT website offers a myriad of online tools, and resources for anyone seeking information on STD facts and testing information. Watch a 2011 GYT Public Service Announcement below.

According to statistics provided by PPRM, in 2008 Colorado ranked 21st highest in the U.S. in cumulative reported HIV cases. Colorado also ranked 23rd in chlamydia infections and 29th in gonorrheal infections.

“There are many common barriers to STD testing including perceived risk, not knowing where to go, stigma or judgment, and confidentiality issues. GYT aims to break these barriers down because embarrassment or fear should never be a health risk or get in the way of testing. Plus, not all STDs show symptoms, so if you are sexually active, incorporating STD testing into routine health care is the best way to remain healthy,” said Madonna Huntingford, health center manager at Planned Parenthood’s west side location.

As part of the campaign, both Planned Parenthood locations in Colorado Springs will offer $10 STD testing on April 26 and 29. The tests will check for chlamydia and gonorrhea, and an additional $10 will cover Rapid HIV testing — with results provided in as little as 10 minutes.

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