|Kicking off National “GYT: Get Yourself Tested” Campaign to Increase STD Awareness and Testing with April 1st event at Clasico
[Sarasota, FL] — Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida (PPSWCF) is kicking off their sixth annual GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign in April (STD Awareness Month) with on-air, online and on-the-ground activities. 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.
To kick off the month, on April 1st Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida will be holding a “Don’t Be A Fool – Get Yourself Tested” event from 7-9pm at Clasico Café & Bar in downtown Sarasota. There will be drink and food specials all night with part of the proceeds benefiting Planned Parenthood’s sexual education and prevention programs. The event will also feature local hoop, poi, and juggling talents along with a raffle and grand prize giveaway.
Additionally, during the month of April, PPSWCF is offering a special of $10 off STD or HIV Rapid Screening through the end of April.
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 is simply a basic part of staying healthy and taking control of your sex life — and it’s easier than ever before,” said Kellie Dupree, PPSWCF spokesperson. “At Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida we’re proud to offer affordable STD testing, treatment, and sex education and information, to help ensure that 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 that the GYT campaign has successfully increased STD testing among youth during STD Awareness Month.
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.
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.
GYT was launched in April 2009 as an ongoing promotion under It’s Your (Sex) Life, a longstanding 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 Southwest and Central Florida, an affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, began operations in 1966 and provides vital sexual and reproductive health services and comprehensive sexuality education to women, men and teens in Sarasota, Manatee, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Ft. Myers, Lakeland and Winter Haven. The mission of Planned Parenthood is to ensure the right of all individuals to manage their sexual and reproductive health by providing medical services, education and advocacy. Go to www.myplannedparenthood.org for information or call (941) 365.3913.