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Montanans Under 25 Encouraged to “GYT”

"Who Knew?" - Chlammydia graphic
"Who Knew?" - Chlammydia graphic
April 30, 2012

GREAT FALLS, Mont. - "GYT" is a set of initials most young people know, and although it sounds like it, it has nothing to do with texting. It's a national campaign, "Get Yourself Tested," designed to encourage sexually-active young adults to talk with their health care providers about sexually-transmitted diseases. The GYT campaign is underway in Montana for April's STD Awareness Month.

Planned Parenthood of Montana lead educator Kate Everhart in Great Falls says STD testing has come a long way.

"Testing is easy and painless. I think a lot of people are concerned that it's going to be very invasive. It sounds scary, but it doesn't have to be."

She says STDs often have no symptoms. It's estimated that as many as one in two sexually-active young people will contract an STD by age 25, and most won't know it. Planned Parenthood of Montana offers low-cost, confidential STD testing year-round.

The CDC reports that about half of the 19 million STD cases occurring in the U.S. each year are among those age 25 and younger.

Without treatment, Everhart says, some STDs can cause life-long problems, but early treatment can cure an infection, or help control symptoms in other cases.

"The most common STD in the 15- to 25-year-olds is Chlamydia. And that's pretty consistent across the nation, and we see that here, too."

Chlamydia is treated with a course of antibiotics.

Details on the GYT campaign from the CDC are at bit.ly/Iu70Nc.

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MT