April 2, 2012

Talking STDs with Your Kids: The Get Yourself Tested Campaign {featured news}

1 in 2 sexually active people will get an STD by the age of 25. Most won’t know it. Parents, educators, and healthcare providers can make a difference by educating young people about sexual health and STD prevention.

Since 2009, MTV, the Kaiser Family Foundation, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other partners have been supporting National STD Awareness Month in April with the GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign to inform young people about STDs, encourage and normalize testing for STDs, and connect young people to testing centers.
Responding to the fact that one in two young people will get a sexually transmitted disease (STD) by age 25—and most won’t know it—the GYT campaign is a youthful, empowering social movement to reduce the spread of STDs among young people through information; open communication with partners, health care providers, and parents; and testing and treatment as needed.

For a generation accustomed to communicating in shorthand, the GYT acronym presents STD testing in a context that is familiar and relatable to young people. Through GYT’s presence on MTV Networks, the involvement of music and celebrity talent, and special promotions, GYT encourages testing as an act of pride, not shame—and promotes an open dialogue about STDs by encouraging young people to spread the word about the campaign.

Serving as the information hub for the campaign, GYTNOW.org provides the facts on STDs, testing, and protection; talking tips to help young people communicate with their partners, parents, and health care providers; and a testing center locator provided by the CDC. The site also makes it easy for individuals and communities to make the campaign their own, offering tips on what you can do, example success stories, and free GYT materials. Resources specifically for health care providers also address common misconceptions that young people have about STDs and testing.
From "About GYT" at MTV's IYSL: It's Your (Sex) Life online.
In addition to the GYT campaign, the CDC's STD Awareness Resource Site also features fact sheets and further tools and resources, including specifically for health care personnel.

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