“Get yourself tested” day today, in Harlan


April 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Public Health Department in conjunction with the Harrison, Cass, Crawford, Monona and Shelby (HCCMS) Family Planning will be holding a “Get Yourself Tested” event today (April 18th), in Harlan. The GYT event allows men and women to be tested for the sexually transmitted diseases of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea,  through painless and private screenings. In addition, a counselor from the Iowa Department of Public Health will be present to counsel people about HIV, and will offer HIV testing to those at risk.

Public health officials say half of all sexually active people will get a STD by the age of 25 and most will not know it. Most infections are preventable. The CDC recommends yearly Chlamydia screening for sexually active women under the age of 26. Screening and treatment of infections is important, since many STD’s often have no signs or symptoms. The only way to find out if you are infected is to Get Yourself Tested.

GYT events are held every April all over the nation as April is Sexually Transmitted Infection Awareness Month. The idea is raise awareness about the impact of STD’s and to encourage people to discuss their sexual health with their partners and healthcare providers. The Shelby County Public Health GYT event will be held at no charge, from 1- to 5-pm today, at the Public Health Office at 2712 12th Street in Harlan. Appointments are encouraged but not required. For more information, or to make an appointment, call Rachel Birks at Myrtue Medical Center’s HCCMS Family Planning Clinic at 712-755-4312.