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Sexually Transmitted Diseases Hitting Iowa Teens

May 10, 2010

DES MOINES, Iowa - "Get Yourself Talking and Get Yourself Tested" is the message in a campaign inspired by MTV and endorsed by a variety of local organizations, including Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, to encourage teenagers to be tested yearly for sexually transmitted diseases. According to the latest statistics in Iowa, nearly 4,000 teenagers have tested positive for Chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis.

Kirsten Colt with Planned Parenthood warns that many of the sexually-transmitted infections have no symptoms.

"So people mistakenly walk around thinking they don't have any type of infection, and the danger of that is that they could pass it on to anyone that they have sex with."

She says several infections are turning up in clients at Iowa clinics.

"The most common sexually-transmitted infections out there are Chlamydia and gonorrhea - we're seeing lots of those - but there are quite a few cases of HPV (human papillomavirus)."

Colt says the excuse she hears most often from teenagers for not getting tested is fear that the test will hurt. She says the procedure is nothing more than a simple urine test, and it can be done at any doctor's office, health department facility or Planned Parenthood location. Colt suggests this would be a great time to be tested, as part of National Women's Health Week.

More information is available at www.itsyoursexlife.com.



Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA