April marks the annual observance of STD Awareness Month. Health departments, health care providers, and community-based organizations should use the momentum gained during this month-long observance to bring a renewed sense of enthusiasm and focus to their STD awareness and prevention efforts.
The Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP) will promote a theme of Know the Facts! GYT: Get Yourself Tested during STD Awareness Month this year. Based on the types of questions DSTDP receives via social media and the 1-800-CDC-INFO hotline, we know there are many misperceptions and false assumptions about how to prevent STDs, how STD tests are done, and who should be tested. A JAMA Pediatrics article found that one-third of all adolescents didn’t talk about sexual health issues with their physicians during annual health visits. Separately, another analysis points out that half of the estimated 20 million STDs that occur in the U.S. each year are among young people. For all of these reasons, DSTDP wants to make sure young people have access to accurate, helpful information about STD prevention and testing.
This STD Awareness Month, the Division will continue to support the GYT: Get Yourself Testedcampaign. GYT is a youthful, empowering social movement to encourage young people to get tested and treated for STDs and HIV. Please consider visiting CDC-INFO on Demand to order free GYTposters, stickers, and postcards. These materials can be displayed in your schools, clinics, community organizations, and health departments to promote STD Awareness Month and the tenets of the campaign. We also encourage you to promote your own GYT testing event. For more information on hosting an event or success stories, please visit www.cdc.gov/gyt.
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