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Get Yourself Tested
Get Yourself Tested (GYT)
Get Yourself Tested is a campaign developed by the Center for Disease Control to encourage young people to get tested and treated, as needed, for STDs and HIV. According to the CDC, sexually active young adults acquire half of all new STDs in the U.S. each year. Unfortunately, many don't know they are infected.
Why get Tested?
Know the Facts #GYT
Do you know…?
- STDs impact young people the hardest. In the U.S., half of all new STDs are in people under 25 years old.
- If you are sexually active, you can lower your risk of getting an STD by using a latex condom the right way from start to finish every time you have sex.
- Almost all STDs that can be spread via condomless vaginal sex can also be spread through oral and anal sex without a condom.
- You can’t tell if someone has an STD just by looking at them. Many STDs don’t cause any symptoms, so the only way to know for sure is to get tested.
- Even if you use birth control, you should still think about STD prevention. Birth control methods like the pill, patch, ring, and IUD are very effective at preventing pregnancy, but they do not protect against STDs and HIV.
- The most reliable way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
You should also know that all STDs, even HIV, are treatable, and most are curable. The sooner you get tested, the sooner you can take action to protect your health and the health of your partner(s).
Some STDs can lead to serious health problems if they’re not treated. For example, an untreated STD, like chlamydia, can make it difficult or impossible for a woman to get pregnant. And having herpes or gonorrhea can increase your chances of getting HIV.
- STD tests are quick, simple, and usually painless. For example, rapid HIV tests can provide results from just a swab inside the mouth in only 20 minutes.
- Not all medical checkups include STD testing. Unless you ask to be tested, you can’t assume you have been. Ask your medical provider which STDs you should be tested for.
- Talk to your partner about when you were last tested and suggest getting tested together. And if you have an STD, tell your partner. These conversations may seem hard to have, but open communication with your partner is essential to staying healthy and stopping the spread of STDs. These conversations may also bring you closer together. Here are some tips to help you start the conversation.
- You can find confidential testing near you that is free or low cost by going to the Get Yourself Tested website.
STD Testing 101
Which STD test should you consider?
If you are sexually active, getting tested for STDs is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health!
- Have an open and honest conversation with your doctor about your sexual history and STD testing. This will help them understand what STD tests you may need.
Studies have shown that many people don’t talk to their healthcare providers about issues of sex and sexuality during their annual health visits, sometimes because they are afraid their parents might find out.
How does STD testing work?
STD testing can be easy, quick and often painless. STD testing may consist of a urine test, cheek swab, blood test, physical exam or swab of sores.
Most physical exams at your doctor's office do not routinely include STD testing so you should be sure to ask when you have a physical exam.
Don't want to be tested at your doctor's office? Check out the locations above for free or low-cost services.
How do I know if I am at risk?
Your sexual health is at risk if you answer “yes” to any of the following questions:
- Have you had unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex (sex without a condom)?
- Do you have multiple partners?
- Do you have an STI, including HIV?
- Have you shared injection drug equipment, including needles or syringes?
- Do you have a partner who answers “yes” to any of these questions or whose health status you don’t know?
Where to Get Yourself Tested
In partnership with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH), Recreation & Wellness offers free STI testing on-campus.
As university protocols allow, OCDPH will continue doing free monthly testing events for 2021-2022 on the Allendale campus.
2nd Wednesday of each month from 4p-7p September to April. Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec 2021 will be in HHLC 107A.