Free STD testing at Planned Parenthood

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Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN) will be offering free sexually transmitted disease (STD) screenings for women and men at 18 of its health centers on April 12, as part of the 5th annual "Get Yourself Tested" (GYT) campaign and National STD Awareness month. GYT is a national effort designed to promote sexual health and address the high rates of STDs among those under age 25.

The following 18 centers will offer free screenings for gonorrhea and chlamydia: Avon, Bloomington, Columbus, Evansville, Fishers, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis-Eastside, Indianapolis-Midtown, Indianapolis-Southside, Hammond, Lafayette, Madison, Merrillville, Muncie, Richmond, Terre Haute, Valparaiso and Warsaw.

These free tests are made possible by the nonprofit's Women's Health Fund, which provides reproductive health care for low-income women and men around the state.

And thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, PPIN's Mishawaka health center will be offering free STD testing on the following dates:

April 5
Week of April 8-13
April 19
April 26

"Getting tested is simply a basic part of staying healthy and taking control of your sex life. Many STDs cause no symptoms, so the only way to know your status for sure is to get tested," said Liz Carroll, PPIN's vice president for patient services. "We know that when not treated, STDs can cause serious health problems - but that virtually all STDs, including HIV, are treatable and many are curable. The sooner you know your status, the sooner you can get treated.

"Once you know your status, you can take action to stay healthy and protect yourself against future STDs," Carroll added. "We want everyone - men, women, and young people - to lead the healthiest lives possible."

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in the United States, especially among young people. There are now about 20 million new infections in the United States each year, half among the under 25 age group – even though they represent only 25 percent of the sexually experienced population.