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"Get Yourself Tested in '09" - the Cry During STD Awareness Month in CO

April 2, 2009

Denver, CO - It's a test that could save lives - and no studying is required. April is STD Awareness Month and local physicians across the state are encouraging young Coloradans to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Physician Mark Thrun directs the HIV/STD control program at Denver Public Health. He says recent CDC figures show more than 25 percent of young women nationwide have been infected with a STD and getting tested is an easy way to help keep everyone more healthy.

"Even if they may not have symptoms, they should check to make sure they don't have an STD. Or, if they happen to have an STD, they should get the appropriate treatment to keep themselves healthy and keep their sexual partners healthy."

Discounted testing for STDs will be available at two dozen health centers across the state later this month through Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. STD Awareness Month and the "Get Yourself Tested" campaign kicked off Wednesday in Denver with the world premiere of the MTV film, "Pedro," at the Starz Filmcenter.

Thrun says contrary to some reports, HIV is on the rise, and more than 10,000 Coloradans are known to be infected with the virus, and as many as 2,000 to 3,000 more don't know they're infected.

"It's very important for anyone who is having sex who might be putting themselves at risk for HIV to get tested and find out what their HIV status is."

Thrun says it just takes a few simple measures to help protect yourself and your partner from STDs.

"Think about using condoms. Think about asking about your partner's sexual history. And get yourself tested so you know what your own status is."

More information about STDs and testing locations is available online at www.pprm.org or by calling 1-800-320-PLAN.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - CO