FREE STD Testing April 24th at Planned Parenthood!
Thanks to the generosity of the Chaffee County community, Planned Parenthood in Salida will be offering free STD testing at their Salida location on Monday, April 24th from 11 AM – 7 PM.
The clinic was the recipient of March’s Salida Soup funds, raised at the monthly community potluck. Additionally, a donation from Tenderfoot Health Collective, a percentage of sales on Day Without A Woman on March 8th, will contribute to the funding for screenings.
“We’re so lucky to have such a supportive community that truly understands the value of STD screenings for public health,” said Shelley Schreiner, the Health Center Manager. “Thanks to these generous donations, we’ll be able to offer free testing to 35 patients.”
Though still considered an uncomfortable topic, sexually transmitted diseases are enormously common. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 2 sexually active young people will get an STD before age 25.
“One of the biggest reasons that STDs spread so easily is that most people who are infected don’t show any symptoms. People think that since they feel ok, they don’t have anything, when in reality it’s possible to have an STD for weeks, months, or even years and not know it,” Schreiner said. “That’s why we want to make screenings as accessible as possible, so that people can know their status and keep themselves safe and healthy.”
STD screenings aren’t just for young people. Cases of Gonorrhea in people over age 55 increase by more than 90% between the years of 2010 and 2014, according to the CDC. “That’s a pretty shocking statistic,” said Schreiner, “but it makes sense. People who don’t have to worry about pregnancy might not think about protecting themselves from STDs, but the fact is that anyone who is sexually active is at risk of contracting an STD.”
The screenings include Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and HIV. Other tests, such as Herpes, Hepatitis C, and Syphillis can be included in the screenings based on risk factors and age. Appointments are not necessary but are encouraged – to make an appointment, call 719-539-7291 or go online at www.plannedparenthood.org.