As chlamydia rises, Planned Parenthood offers free testing at first Lansing Test Fest
To help combat the growing number of chlamydia cases in Ingham County, Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan (PPMSM) is offering free testing, condoms, and much more at the first-ever Lansing Test Fest. The health festival will be held on Saturday, September 14th from 11a.m.—4 p.m. at the Old Town Marquee, 319 E. Grand River, Lansing. The Test Fest is free and open to the public.
According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, chlamydia is the most frequently reported bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the United States.1 Left untreated, the infection can lead to infertility. While the transmission of chlamydia is easily preventable with the use of barrier methods like condoms and dental dams, rates of chlamydia are on the rise in Ingham County. Over the past four years the numbers of chlamydia diagnoses in Ingham County has increased from 1,562 cases in 2007 to 1,917 cases in 2011. 2 Chlamydia is easily cured with antibiotics. However, because many people experience no symptoms of the bacterial infection, they often go untreated and pass it on to partners.
“We have put a lot of energy into taking the stigma out of getting tested,” said Lori Lamerand, President and CEO of PPMSM. “Events like test fests help eliminate barriers for people by providing free tests in a welcoming atmosphere.”
Lansing singer/songwriter Jen Sygit will emcee and perform at the fest, while local partners, including Gateway Community Services and the Sparrow Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program, are helping to create carnival-like games to make the event fun and exciting for attendees.
“For years Planned Parenthood has been educating teens and parents in our community, but we also thrive on providing excellent care,” said Amber Arb, Community Outreach Educator. “We believe that through advocacy, education, and exceptional care we can improve the lives of our friends, neighbors, and community.” This event is part of a larger summer program that included medically accurate sexuality education, leadership education, and civic engagement training for teens, is funded in part by the Power of We Consortium.
Organizations and businesses may still join the Test Fest as sponsors and/or participants. For more information, or to donate prizes, contact Amber Arb at 734-926-5610 or firstname.lastname@example.org.