Did you know: “1 in 2 sexually active people will get a sexually transmitted disease (STD, also called STI for sexually transmitted infection) by the age of 25? Most won’t know it. The only way to find out is to Get Yourself Tested” (itsyoursexlife.com). April is dedicated to a social movement called Get Yourself Tested or GYT, which was started to help young people take control of their reproductive health with regular STD testing.
When you start a new relationship or have sex with a new partner, it’s important you have the awkward condom talk, use barriers like condoms or dental dams, and get tested together. Remember—you can’t tell by looking who has an STD, so follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidelines and get tested once a year.
How do you get tested? Getting tested is simple and easy, and usually painless! When you go for your test it’s usually not in a doctor’s office like this:
But rather, something more like this:
Often as a sexuality educator, I get questions about what to expect about testing. Providers will ask you a lot of questions that may be uncomfortable. The provider will need to know specific information to help determine your risk of infection. It is important to be open and honest when you respond to their questions so they can give you the best possible care and the information you need to stay healthy.
Some questions might include:
“Have you ever (or are you currently) having sex?
“Do you have sex with women, men or both?”
“Do you have oral sex? Anal sex?”
“Do you use condoms?”
“Do you have symptoms – what is different from what you normally experience?”
“Do you know if your partner(s) have any STDs or symptoms of STDs?”
GYT is about knowing yourself, and knowing your status, while carving your own path in life. (itsyoursexlife.com). Planned Parenthood health centers offer STD testing, as well as information about how to protect yourself from STDs. So, what are you waiting for? Make an appointment today by calling 1-800-230-PLAN or find a testing site near you.