GYT – Get Yourself Tested

Get yourself tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can ensure that you and the one you love both stay healthy.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), STDs are a significant health challenge facing the United States. The CDC estimates that nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur every year in this country, half among young people ages 15–24, accounting for almost $16 billion in health care costs. Each of these infections is a potential threat to an individual’s immediate and long-term health and well-being. In addition to increasing a person’s risk for acquiring and transmitting HIV infection, STDs can lead to severe reproductive health complications, such as infertility and ectopic pregnancy.

Snapshot: STDs in the United States, 2013

Prevention

STDs can be prevented. When used correctly, condoms are very effective at preventing the transmission of STDs. The surest way, though, to prevent the spread of STDs is to abstain from sexual contact or to be in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship. You and your partner should both be tested for STDs and be known to be uninfected. Additionally, there is a vaccine available to prevent HPV. Speak with your health care provider or call CCHD at 454-6950 and ask to speak with a public health nurse to learn more about the HPV vaccine.

HIV/AIDS

Individuals infected with an STD are more likely than uninfected individuals to acquire HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Getting tested for common STDs can help decrease your risk of contracting HIV and passing it on to your partner. Like with other STDs, those infected with HIV/AIDS may not experience symptoms. Testing is the only way to be sure that you are not infected and will not pass the virus to your partner. CCHD offers low-cost or free and anonymous HIV counseling and testing.

Show Your Loved One That You Care! Get Tested!

This Valentine’s Day, you can show your loved one that you care about their health and peace of mind by getting tested for STDs. Since many STDs may have no noticeable symptoms, testing is the surest way to find out if you are infected and, in effect, the best way to ensure that you do not unwittingly pass an infection on to your partner. CCHD offers testing and treatment for many common STDs on a sliding fee scale. Testing can find STDs early, when treatment is most effective.

To learn more, visit CCHD’s Communicable Disease program or http://www.cdc.gov/ for more information.

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