From the American Sexual Health Association
The American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) has launched a stigma-shattering initiative – “YES Means TEST™” – to educate and empower young adults who say “YES” to sexual activity also to say “YES” to getting tested for STDs, also known as sexually transmitted infections.
Using social media influences and platforms, YES Means test aims to normalize STD testing so young people will view testing as a natural part of saying “YES” to sexual activity and used social media influences and platforms to increase awareness and drive traffic to the campaign website and clinic locator tool.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are most prevalent among young people. People may not know they have an STD because many do not have symptoms, which is why testing is so vital. STDs can cause serious health consequences if they are not detected and treated appropriately. For example, chlamydia left untreated can put a woman at risk for pelvic inflammatory disease, a condition that can lead to tubal pregnancy, chronic pain and infertility. “YES Means TEST” was designed primarily to reach women ages 18-24 who are sexually active but do not get STD testing regularly. The CDC recommends annual chlamydia and gonorrhea screenings for this demographic.
“At ASHA, we understand there are plenty of reasons young people aren’t getting tested,” said Lynn Barclay, president and CEO of ASHA. “They’re often in denial about the risk of STDs, aren’t educated about their harmful effects or for some reason are too embarrassed to discuss them. We’ve got to reverse that stigma so people, especially young women, feel empowered to take ownership of their sexual health.”
STD testing can be quick, easy, confidential and free or low-cost, and common STDs, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, are usually effectively treated with antibiotics. For more information about STDs, “YES Means TEST” or how and where to get tested, please visit www.YESmeansTEST.org. Join the conversation online with #YESmeansTEST.