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GYT: Get Yourself Tested Campaign

GYT: Get Yourself Tested

GYT: Get Yourself Tested is a campaign encouraging young people to get tested and treated for STIs and HIV to protect their health and that of their partners. STIs affect people of all ages, yet these diseases take a particularly heavy toll on young people.

The GYT campaign highlights the idea that preventing, testing for, and treating STIs is very straightforward. The campaign offers streamlined materials to help focus efforts on STI awareness, prevention, testing, and treatment among young people.

Know the Facts

False assumptions about sexually transmitted infections, or STIs – how they’re spread, prevented, and treated – are everywhere, and it can be especially hard for people to get the facts. Making sure that you have the correct information about STD prevention and testing has never been more important.

Did you know?

  • STIs impact young people the hardest. In the U.S., almost half of all new infections in 2018 were among people aged 15-24.
  • If you are sexually active, you can lower your risk of getting an infection several ways, including by using a condom the right way from start to finish.
  • Almost all STIs that can be spread via condomless vaginal sex also can be spread through oral and anal sex without a condom.
  • You can’t tell if someone has an STI just by looking at them. Many STDs don’t cause any symptoms, so the only way to know for sure is to get tested.
  • Even if you use birth control, you should still think about STI prevention. Birth control methods like the pill, patch, ring, and IUD are very effective at preventing pregnancy, but they do not protect against STIs and HIV.
  • The most reliable way to avoid STIs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

You also should know that all STIs, even HIV, are treatable, and most are curable. The sooner you get tested, the sooner you can take action to protect your health and the health of your partner(s).

Some STIs can lead to serious health problems if they’re not treated. For example, an untreated STI, like chlamydia, can make it difficult or impossible for a woman to get pregnant. An untreated STI can also increase the chances of transmitting or getting HIV.

  • STIs tests are quick, simple, and usually painless. For example, rapid HIV tests can provide results from just a swab inside the mouth in only 20 minutes.
  • Not all medical checkups include STI testing. Unless you ask to be tested, you can’t assume you have been. Ask your healthcare provider tests may be right for you.
  • Talk to your partner about when you were last tested and suggest getting tested together. And if you have an STI, tell your partner. These conversations may seem hard to have, but open communication with your partner is essential to staying healthy and stopping the spread of STIs. These conversations may also bring you closer together. Here are some tips to help you start the conversation.
  • You can find confidential testing near you that is free or low cost by going to

How to GYT

If you are sexually active, getting tested for sexually transmitted infections, or STIs is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health! Have an open and honest conversation with your healthcare provider about your sexual history and STI testing. This will help them understand what STI tests you may need.

Studies have shown that many teens don’t talk to their healthcare providers about issues of sex and sexuality during their annual health visits, sometimes because they are afraid their parents might find out. If you don’t feel comfortable talking with your regular healthcare provider about STIs, visit one of the many clinics that provide confidential testing that is free or low cost. For ways to prepare for your doctor’s visit, check out this guide.

Should I get tested for STIs?

You may be at risk for STIs if you can answer yes to any of these questions:

  • Have you had vaginal (penis in the vagina), anal (penis in the anus), or oral sex (mouth on penis, vagina, or anus) without a condom in the past 12 months?
  • Have you ever had an STI, including HIV?
  • Have any of your partners had an STI?
  • Have you or any of your partners ever used illicit substances?
  • Have you exchanged sex for needs in the past 12 months (money, housing, drugs, etc.)?
  • Is it possible that any of your sex partners in the past 12 months had sex with someone else while they were still in a sexual relationship with you?

Which STI Tests Should I Get?

  • All adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
  • All sexually active women younger than 25 years should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year. Women 25 years and older with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners or a sex partner who has an STI should also be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year.
  • Everyone who is pregnant should be tested for syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C starting early in pregnancy. Those at risk for infection should also be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea starting early in pregnancy. Repeat testing may be needed in some cases.
  • All sexually active gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men should be tested:
    • At least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Those who have multiple or anonymous partners should be tested more frequently (e.g., every 3 to 6 months).
    • At least once a year for HIV and may benefit from more frequent HIV testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months).
    • At least once a year for hepatitis C, if living with HIV.
  • Anyone who engages in sexual behaviors that could place them at risk for infection or shares injection drug equipment should get tested for HIV at least once a year.
  • People who have had oral or anal sex should talk with their healthcare provider about throat and rectal testing options.

Find out what STI care options are available near you

In addition to traditional, in-person visits, other options that may be available include:

  • Video or phone appointments with your healthcare provider.
  • Express visits allow walk-in STI testing and treatment appointments without a full clinical exam.
  • Pharmacies and retail clinics, such as at a grocery store or big-box store, for on-site testing and treatment.
  • At-home collection where you collect your own sample and take or mail it to a lab for testing.

Get Tested, Get Treated

Testing positive for an STI is not the end. Many STIs are curable and all are treatable.

If you or your partner has an STI that can be cured, both of you need to start treatment immediately to avoid getting re-infected. Getting treated right away also can help avoid health problems down the road.

A forgotten prescription from your healthcare provider won’t help – make sure to get it filled and take your medication as prescribed. That also means you shouldn’t share your prescription with your partner.

Get retested! It’s common to get some STIs more than once, especially chlamydia and gonorrhea. You should be retested in 3 months even if you and your partner took medicine.

GET: Get Yourself Tested - Social Media Campaign Materials

These social media messages for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram can help amplify STI prevention messages during STI Awareness Week. Select messages that align with your audiences and goals. Additional suggestions to keep in mind:

  • Use #STIWeek and #GYT hashtags on Twitter and Instagram during STI Awareness Week to join the conversation and share information, pictures, and videos.
  • Customize messages with local testing options. Incorporate local hashtags that may help your messages reach your target audience.
  • Share messages with GYT campaign graphics or your own images, GIFs, and videos.
  • Follow and tag @NCDHHS on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Day 1: Spread Awareness about STI Awareness Week and GYT Campaign

STI Awareness Week is here! Join the conversation with #STIweek to get involved and learn how you can take action to help overcome the rise of #STIs in the U.S. #GYT

STI Awareness Week is here! Join the conversation with #STIweek to get involved and learn how you can take action to help overcome the rise of #STIs in the U.S. #GYT

Day 2: Know the facts – Debunk Myths and False Information about STI Prevention and Testing


DYK? All STIs can be treated & some can be cured. Know the facts: #GYT #STIweek


¿Sabías? Todas las #ITS se pueden tratar y algunas se pueden curar. ¡Infórmate! #GYT #STIweek


Many #STIs have no symptoms. The only way you can be sure of your status is to Get Yourself Tested. #GYT #STIweek


¿Sabías? Muchas #ITS no causan síntomas. Protege tu #salud. Hazte la prueba. #GYT #STIweek

Day 3: How to GYT – Provide Tips on How to Prepare for Provider Visits and What to Expect


Did you know? Anyone having sex can get an STI. This STI Awareness Week, know your STI care options and Get Yourself Tested! #GYT #STIweek


Hazte pruebas de #ITS y el #VIH con tu pareja sexual. ¡Muéstrense respeto! #GYT #STIweek


Young people, ages 15-24, accounted for almost ½ of all new #STI infections in 2018. This #STIweek, find out how STI testing can protect you and your partner. #GYT


Young people, ages 15-24, accounted for almost ½ of all new #STI infections in 2018. This #STIweek, find out how STI testing can protect you and your partner. #GYT


LA MITAD de los casos nuevos de #ITS corresponden a personas menores de 25 años. No juegues con tu salud, hazte la prueba de ITS: #GYT #STIweek

Day 4: Share Local STI Testing Information

These messages can be customized with specific STI care information that your organization is offering. Some services to promote include video or phone appointments, express visits, pharmacies or retail health clinics for testing and treatment, and at-home collection kits.

DYK? In 2020, over half (53%) of reported cases of STIs were among adolescents and young adults aged 15-24 years. [Organization] is offering testing at [testing strategy, dates, location]. #GYT for #STIweek! [Contact information/organization URL]

Day 5: Promote STD Surveillance Report Numbers

2022 surveillance data underscores that STIs must be a public health priority. More than 2.5 million STI cases were reported in the U.S., with syphilis emerging as a unique public health challenge. Sexually Transmitted Infections Surveillance #STIreport #STIweek 

In [insert year], [organization’s state/county/city] had [number] cases of #chlamydia, #gonorrhea, and #syphilis. For #STIweek, know your testing options and #GYT. [Organization] is offering [testing strategy, dates, location]. [Contact information/organization URL]

More than 3,700 babies were born with syphilis in 2022, which was more than 10 times the number in 2012. The increase in newborn syphilis follows rising syphilis cases among women of reproductive age. Learn more about this 100% preventable infection: Sexually Transmitted Infections Surveillance #STIreport


Content Source: CDC: STD Awareness Week

Content Source: GYT: Get Yourself Tested (

Content Source: Campaign Materials - #GYT (