Public News Service (Boulder, CO) (04.22.13)
Aids Weekly Plus
In Montana, during National STD Awareness Month in April, CDC and local organizations are co-sponsoring the “Get Yourself Tested” (GYT) campaign. This campaign urges those under the age of 25 to get tested for STDs. The GYT campaign encourages sexually active young adults to talk with their health care providers about STDs. Kate Everhart, lead educator with Planned Parenthood of Montana in Great Falls, says that chlamydia is the most common STD in Montana, and it is one of the easiest to cure. She explains, “A lot of the really common bacterial infections are easily treatable with antibiotics, so there’s not a huge cost that’s associated with it.” Gonorrhea is another frequently seen STD. Everhart emphasizes that it is important to treat both partners, as a person can be re-infected even after treatment, and that chlamydia usually has no symptoms, but there are possible lifelong consequences, especially for women. Everhart explained, “It can cause PID, which is pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause scarring. It can cause a lot of pain, and it actually can lead to infertility.” She added that Community Health Centers and Planned Parenthood are offering sliding-fee scale appointments. CDC warns that approximately half of the 19 million STD cases recorded annually in the United States are among people under age 25.