April is STD Awareness Month!

April is STD Awareness Month!  The increase in sexual experimentation that often occurs during adolescent years can have adverse consequences, such as sexually transmitted infections.  CDC estimates that youth ages 15-24 make up just over one-quarter of the sexually active population, but account for half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted infections that occur in the United States each year.

We encourage youth to get screened using RAAPS so that professionals can identify high risk behaviors quickly.  We want to help teens change self-destructive behaviors and make better, healthier choices!  See our blog post on the research behind questions 16 and 17 of the RAAPS survey to learn more about what specifically we ask about sexual health.

A myriad of resources are available for youth, including pamphlets, widgets and infographics on the CDC website. Another valuable resource is the Get Yourself Tested (GYT) Campaign.  GYT helps to inform young people about STDs, encourage and normalize testing for STDs, and connect young people to testing centers.  Taken from the GYT blog, we encourage TEST IT, PROTECT IT, SAVE IT!  Get yourself tested, use protection if sexually active or abstain from sex.  Almost 2 out of 3 teenagers who have had sex wish they’d waited.

Check out this great infographic provided on the CDC website.  A picture is worth a thousand words.

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