Planned Parenthood Offers FREE STD Testing in April!

As part of the national GYT (Get Yourself Tested) campaign, and thanks in part to a donation from an anonymous local donor, Planned Parenthood will be offering free STD testing at their health center in Salida on April 25th, 26th, and 29th.

Typically, Planned Parenthood would offer testing for some of the most common STDs for $20 as part of the GYT campaign. But this year, after a presentation at Salida Soup, an anonymous donor provided funding to make this year’s testing free of charge. Thanks to the GYT campaign and this donation, Planned Parenthood will be able to provide free testing to 25 patients.

Many people believe that if they aren’t showing symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease, they don’t need to be tested, but that’s not true. 1 in 2 sexually active people will get an STD by the age of 25, and most of them won’t know it. Many people show no symptoms at all, but can still pass the infections on to their partners.

Planned Parenthood encourages people to get screened for STD’s regularly, regardless of their relationship status. It’s really important that people get tested regularly. Most STD’s are easily curable, and those that aren’t are treatable. But untreated STD’s can lead to serious health issues like infertility.

Planned Parenthood wants to remove as many barriers to regular testing as possible. STD testing is considered preventative health care and is required by law to be covered by insurance plans and testing is covered by Medicaid as well. But despite the progress we’ve made, some people still have difficulty accessing health insurance coverage, especially in rural areas. That’s why Planned Parenthood is offering these services free of charge.

Anxiety about discomfort and stigma around STD’s can also prevent people from regular screenings. People worry that it’s going to be painful or embarrassing. But in fact, testing is really simple – it’s basically just a urine test. And we know that there’s stigma that surrounds STD’s, but they really are much more common than people know. And GYT doesn’t just stand for get yourself tested – we also want people to get themselves talking: to their partners and to their health care providers. The more we can educate people about the prevalence of STDs and how easily treatable most of them are, the more we can ensure that people are getting the health care they need.

STD screenings at Planned Parenthood are more than simple tests. During STD testing visits, we make sure to screen for a variety of health factors, like high blood pressure, tobacco use, and many other things that can affect people’s health. We also do a lot of education on reproductive health in general, including cancer screenings, birth control, and safer sex options.

Chaffee County residents are encouraged to call the health center at 719-539-7291 or stop by 233 E. 2nd St. in Salida to make an appointment. Appointments can also be made online at www.pprm.org. Uninsured patients are encouraged to make their appointment on Monday, April 25th, while those with insurance should make appointments for Tuesday, April 26th or Friday, April 29th.

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