Concord, NH — This spring, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England encourages people to talk openly with their partners about safer sex and STDs, get tested, and get treated as part of GYT: Get Yourself Tested, a national campaign that takes place during Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Awareness Month. The rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis have all increased for the third year in a row, according to the CDC. Certain communities are disproportionately affected by STDs, including young people under 25 and communities with structural barriers to care.
There are still a lot of myths and misunderstandings about having an STD. Getting an STD or having a partner with an STD is extremely common. In fact, anyone who ever has vaginal, anal, or oral sex could have one. Having an STD is not something anyone should be shamed or judged for. What is important is making sure that no matter what your status, you’re able to take care of your and your partner’s sexual health.
“Everyone deserves to have their sex life be healthy and pleasurable,” said Molly Cowan, spokeswoman for PPNNE. “Getting comfortable talking with your partners about STDs, getting tested, and staying safe are all integral parts of having a smart, empowered, and healthy sex life. STD tests are generally quick, simple, and painless, and getting tested is completely confidential.”
Communicating honestly about STDs, including decisions to use protection like condoms and dental dams and getting tested so you know your status, is a good way to take care of your and your partner’s health — and to make sex more enjoyable and stress-free. Planned Parenthood designed a video series to guide people on how to talk with a partner about safer sex, STD testing, and disclosing an STD.
“Planned Parenthood is here to help you stay safe and healthy, and we’re proud to be part of the GYT effort,” added Cowan. “We offer STD prevention options, testing, treatment, education, and information to help you take charge of your sexual health. You can’t tell if you have an STD just by whether you have symptoms, so the only way to know for sure is to get tested.”
All STDs, even HIV, are treatable, and many are curable. Early treatment can help prevent serious, lifelong health problems that can result from untreated STDs. Planned Parenthood is a leader in STD testing and treatment and one of the nation’s leading HIV testing providers. Each year, PPNNE in New Hampshire provides over 23,000 STD tests and treatment.
Planned Parenthood is committed to helping people get the tools they need to stay safe and healthy. As New Hampshire’s largest provider of sex education, Planned Parenthood works in schools and communities across the state to provide education programs and outreach. Our doors are open to everyone — regardless of race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, country of origin, faith, income, and immigrant or refugee status, or to those who may otherwise have nowhere else to turn for health care.
To find a Planned Parenthood health center near you, or to find more information about STDs, visit plannedparenthood.org.
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) is the largest provider of reproductive and sexual health care for women, men and teens across the State of New Hampshire. We serve New Hampshire residents through 6 health centers in Claremont, Derry, Exeter, Keene, Manchester and White River Junction, VT. Last year we saw more than 11,000 patients at these sites.