STD testing set at Planned Parenthood tomorrow

HARLINGEN — One in two sexually active young people in the United States will get an STD by the time they’re 25 — and most won’t know it.

Planned Parenthood will be providing free testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the clinics in Brownsville and Harlingen.

April is STD awareness month.

Planned Parenthood is encouraging young people especially to get tested through a campaign called GYT: Get Yourself Tested. “We’ve partnered with the CDC and MTV,” said Mara Posada, Director of Communication.

“We’re working to normalize testing, and remove the stigma associated with it,” she said.

“We’re hoping more and more people see getting tested for STDs is a basic part of staying healthy and taking care of your body — like brushing your teeth and exercising regularly.”

What are these STDs?

Chlamydia is an infection caused by a kind of bacteria that is passed during sexual contact.

It is the most common sexually-transmitted bacterial infection in the United States.

About 3 million American women and men become infected with chlamydia every year. It is especially common among women and men under 25.

Symptoms:

For women:

* abdominal pain

* abnormal vaginal discharge

* bleeding between menstrual periods

* low-grade fever

* painful intercourse

* pain or a burning feeling while urinating

* swelling inside the vagina or around the anus

* the urge to urinate more than usual

* vaginal bleeding after intercourse

* a yellowish discharge from the cervix that may have a strong smell

For men:

* pain or a burning feeling while urinating

* pus or watery or milky discharge from the penis

* swollen or tender testicles

* swelling around the anus

Gonorrhea is an infection caused by a kind of bacteria that is passed during sexual contact.

It can infect the penis, vagina, cervix, anus, urethra, or throat. Sometimes it is called “the clap” or “the drip.” Gonorrhea can be a serious health risk if it is not treated.

It affects more than 800,000 women and men in the United States every year.

Symptoms:

For women:

* abdominal pain

* bleeding between menstrual periods

* fever

* menstrual irregularities

* painful intercourse

* painful urination

* swelling or tenderness of the vulva

* the urge to urinate more than usual

* throwing up

* yellowish or yellow-green vaginal discharge

For men:

* pus-like discharge from the penis

* pain or burning feeling while urinating

* more frequent urination than usual