GYT? Gritty young thing? STD? Seize the day? WTF?! There are just so many acronyms these days, it’s hard to keep them straight. In the context of this blog, GYT and STD take on very different definitions. Read on!
In the US, April is STD Awareness month, an annual effort to raise public awareness about the importance of preventing, testing for, and treating Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Since 2009, the Kaiser Family Foundation, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the CDC, and other national partners have supported this initiative with GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign. The site has all the resources you need to find testing centers, learn about STDs, and campaign materials to help spread the word.
There are more than 19 million new cases of STD is the US every year. Most of these infections occur among teens and young adults aged 15 – 24. In fact, 50% of sexually active people will get an STD by the age of 25. Some of the most common STDs are gonorrhea, chlamydia, and herpes. Yet, most people have an STD and don’t even know it.
Do not fear. There is good news. STDs are 100% preventable. Condoms (male and female) offer protection both from disease and pregnancy, making it king among contraception. However, they need to be used correctly each and every time during sex from start to finish. Furthermore, many STDs are curable and ALL are treatable. As such, it is important to get tested and encourage others, including friends and your partner, to do the same. So find a testing center or talk to your doctor or nurse about getting tested for STDs.
Further Reading America’s Most STD-Infested States [Men’s Health] Infection Section [Scarleteen]