By: Cici Stutsman, Indy Teen Council Member
Happy Spring—it’s GYT Month!
What is GYT?
GYT stands for Get Yourself Tested. It is a campaign advocating for everyone, especially young people, to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also called sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Why should you get tested?
If you are sexually active, then you are at risk of contracting an STD. Condoms can and should be used to reduce the chance of infection, nothing is 100% effective against STIs except for abstinence. Most STDs have minor or no noticeable symptoms. Even if you don’t feel sick, being tested ensures that you can take care of your own health and honestly tell your partner(s) that you’re STD free.
How can you get tested?
In Indiana and Kentucky, Planned Parenthood is promoting testing during the month of April and some health centers are even offering free testing and counseling. There are also at home tests available through stores like CVS and Walgreens. But, while the idea of a private test may sound appealing, professional support and knowledge on how to protect yourself from STDs or what to do if an STD is present is worth the visit to a professional.
How often should I get tested?
The frequency of STD tests depends on how many sexual partners you have and how reliably you use condoms, it’s also depends on if you have shared needles with anyone (sharing needles can spread things like HIV). Hormonal birth control, like the pill or the shot, does NOT protect against STDs. Everyone who’s sexually active should know their status and get tested once a year, with more frequent testing for more variety in partners.
Schedule an appointment today! Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky now has online scheduling!