April is National STD Awareness Month. Starting a conversation with a partner about STDs and testing can seem awkward and intimidating. But the consequences of contracting an STD are serious and become even graver if an STD is left undiagnosed and untreated. STDs can increase the risk of HIV infection, infertility, and cancer.
One in two people under the age of 25 contracts a sexually transmitted disease (STD) — and most don’t know it. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men need to be especially concerned about STD rates: according to the CDC, they accounted for 61% of new HIV infections in 2010.
Getting tested is an essential way to take charge of your health. Visit the “Get Yourself Tested” website at www.GYTnow.org to learn more, or contact a Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM) health center at www.pplm.org to schedule a checkup. We work every day to keep young people healthy, and our doors are open to everyone.
PPLM will also be sponsoring the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition’s “Fantasy vs. Reality Weekend” and providing education about STD testing at Saturday’s Boston event, “The Raw Reality: Pornography & Black and Latino Representation.” Learn more at www.hbgc-boston.org.
I urge everyone to GYT this April!
Outreach & Organizing Coordinator
Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts