The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says there are now 20 million new STD infections in the U.S. each year. They say young people under the age of 25 account for about half of them even though they represent only 25 percent of the sexually experienced population.
That‘s why Planned Parenthood of Indiana is holding its fifth annual Get Yourself Tested campaign for National STD Awareness Month. PPIN Vice President for Patient Services Liz Carroll says many if not most young people infected with diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia don‘t know it.
“One of the most significant things about STDs particularly gonnorhea and clamydia is they are frequently without symtoms and they can cause chronic life long problems,” Carroll says.
Carroll says PPIN is offering free STD screenings for those ailments at 18 centers in Avon, Bloomington, Columbus, Evansville, Fishers, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis-Eastside, Indianapolis-Midtown, Indianapolis-Southside, Hammond, Lafayette, Madison, Merrillville, Muncie, Richmond, Terre Haute, Valparaiso and Warsaw.
These free tests are made possible by the nonprofit’s Women’s Health Fund, which provides reproductive health care for low-income women and men around the state this month.