Public News Service (Boulder, CO) (04.16.13)
Aids Weekly Plus
During STD Awareness Month in April, the Kaiser Family Foundation, MTV, Planned Parenthood, and CDC are partnering in the GYT Campaign, "Get Yourself Talking, Get Yourself Tested." Carol Bafaloukos, associate medical director of Planned Parenthood Arizona, stated that the United States has 20 million new STD infections each year. Half of the cases occur among people under the age of 25.
Bafaloukos noted, "We don't necessarily do a really good job of teaching them about prevention and the importance of using condoms, the important of abstinence. Well, actually we do teach them about abstinence, but an abstinence-only program doesn't necessarily give them the tools that they need if they do decide to become sexually active." Bafaloukos warned that many STDs have no symptoms; consequently, the only way to know is to get tested. Virtually all STDs are treatable, with many being curable; however, untreated STDs can lead to cervical cancer and possibly to infertility in women.
Vicki Hadd-Wissler, director of education at Planned Parenthood, emphasized the importance of communicating with one's partner. She stressed that discussing STDs and testing are the best way to keep yourself and your partner healthy. During STD Awareness Month, Planned Parenthood Arizona is offering a discount on testing for STDs.