Monday, April 13, 2015

HIV and AIDS: Know Your Status

Talking about your HIV and AIDS risk can be scary if you don’t know the facts. Which condition is which and how do you know if you’re at risk? We recommend keeping it simple by always using protection and getting tested annually, but you may be at higher risk if you fall into any of the following categories:

·        
If you engage in unprotected (without a condom) anal, vaginal or oral sex. The HIV virus is spread through the exchange of body fluids so if you have engaged in sex (penetration or oral) without using barriers like condoms or dental dams you could be at risk.

·        
If you have used intravenous drugs. Again, HIV is spread through body fluid, so sharing needles with other individuals increases your risk for the virus.
·        
Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, account for the majority of new infections despite making up only 2% of the population. Many different risk factors contribute to this high statistic.



 
Normally those infected with HIV show no symptoms for several years, which is why regular testing is so important. When symptoms do begin to show, they generally include slight fever, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches and weight loss. HIV is only classified as an AIDS infection in its most severe stages. Ultimately the immune system is severely damaged, which has the most devastating impact on individuals‘ health.



Though there are no cures for HIV or AIDS, many treatment options are available for patients, as well as their partners including strict condom or oral barrieruse, antiretroviral therapy, and many different medications that help protect your immune system.

The only sure ways to protect yourself and your partner from the HIV and AIDS viruses is to get tested every year and always use condoms or dental dams. Through the month of April, Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma is offering a discounted STI testing package, as well as Safer Sex Kits to those who get tested! So book an appointment by calling
(405) 528-2157 ASAP! 

Chlamydia: The “Silent Infection”

One of the most common and prevalent bacterial STD’s in the United States is Chlamydia. Both men and women are susceptible to Chlamydia, but as with most STD’s women carry a greater burden due to possible complications and consequences of the disease. If women go untreated, Chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, increase the risk for infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. Chlamydia can also lead to infertility in men although it is less common, along with inflammation of the urethra and epididymitis, which is inflammation of sperm-carrying ducts.
 

When infected with Chlamydia a person may experience a few symptoms or none at all. Men can experience symptoms such as painful urination, a slight watery discharge from the penis, and sometimes pain around the testicles. Women may notice increase in vaginal discharge, burning with urination, pain or bleeding with intercourse, and lower abdominal pain. It is important to note that the most common symptom of Chlamydia is no symptom at all, so just because you are not experiencing genital pain does not mean you do not have an STI.

Chlamydia is diagnosed through a laboratory test of a urine sample or a small amount of fluid from the urethra, cervix, rectum, or vagina. Chlamydia is completely treatable by antibiotics. It is never a good idea to go untested if you are sexually active and especially if you are having any of the symptoms above. Give yourself some peace of mind about being STD free by scheduling an appointment at any of our four Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma locations during the month a April to receive the “Peace of Mind Package,” which test for 8 STD’s, and provides a “safe sex kit” for better protection in the future.  Call (405) 528-2157 to set up your appointment today. #GetYourselfTested 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Tell Senators to Stand with Oklahoma Women!

We first told you about two dangerous bills - HB 1409 and HB 1721 - in February. Despite the efforts of our supporters and friendly lawmakers, both bills moved through the house. We expect both bills to be heard on the Senate floor in coming weeks.

 


We want you to tell friendly Oklahoma Senators that you support a woman's right to make her own decision about a pregnancy! These senators are our best chance to defeat these bills in the Senate.

HB 1409 would impose a 72-hour waiting period and require physicians to provide biased information that is not based on science-both of which are intended to shame or coerce a woman into making a decision about her pregnancy.

HB 1721 would ban abortion after 14 weeks in Oklahoma. The reality is that nine in 10 abortions in the U.S. occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (Guttmacher). Abortion after 14 weeks in pregnancy is less common, but in all cases, a woman and her doctor need every medical option available.

Both of these bills are part of a broader effort to restrict or end access to safe, legal abortion in Oklahoma and are particularly cruel for women and families in heartbreaking situations-needing to end a pregnancy after careful consideration, but experiencing lengthy, unnecessary delays in accessing safe care.

Please email Oklahoma lawmakers who support women's health now and tell them their "NO" vote on these two bills is supported by thousands of women in men in Oklahoma who believe that politics should be kept out of personal medical decisions.

Thank you for your continued support.

Your friends at Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

You’re invited to join us at the Oklahoma Capitol for Women's Health Day and Prevention First Lobby Day!



Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma is hosting the 7th annual 
Women’s Health Day
at the Capitol from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Come meet health experts from several organizations, activists and law makers who are working to improve women's access to health care. In an effort to engage lawmakers and give voice to supporters, our sister affiliate Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is also hosting a ‘Prevention First Lobby Seminar’ the same morning. The seminar costs $10 and includes lobby training, a rundown on current legislative issues, a T-shirt and lunch. Those interested must RSVP ahead of time.

Thursday, April 9, 2015
8:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. Prevention First Lobby Seminar
11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Women’s Health Day
Oklahoma State Capitol
2300 North Lincoln Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK

Over the years we have seen a stigma form over women’s health issues, and it has not done well for our state. Oklahoma is the only state in the U.S. that saw life expectancy for women decline in the two decades and our state is consistently ranked among the bottom 10 states for health outcomes. Despite these poor indicators Oklahoma still has over 100,000 uninsured citizens. So please come out and stand up for women's health!

In the meantime help us gain support for this worthy cause by tweeting or posting #accessforus via social media to highlight the lack of access many Oklahoma women face in seeking quality, affordable health care. Together we can highlight the importance of women’s health in Oklahoma and show our lawmakers that we won’t stand for inaction or political grandstanding while women’s lives are on the line! 



Thank you for your continued support and we hope to see you at the Capitol on April 9th!

For questions please contact Danielle Williams
danielle.williams@ppcok.org
(405) 528-0221 Ext. 321 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Trust Oklahoma Women

Tomorrow is “Rose Day” at the Oklahoma State capitol.   The annual “Rose Day” event draws hundreds of people to the capitol to deliver roses to legislators and show support for extreme anti-choice legislation introduced every year. 


To offset the large attendance at Rose Day, Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma in coordination with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland created a social media campaign called #RejectTheRose. This is your opportunity to give a voice to the pro-choice, pro-woman, pro-family movement during a time when legislators will be swarmed with anti-choice messages.  

Tweet, post and pin at your convenience, tag your legislator and encourage your legislators to #RejectTheRose.  Use the hash tag #RejectTheRose in all of your communications so we can track our impact and measure our success!  Here are some messaging examples you might use:

·         (Insert your name or organization) believes that access to comprehensive health care is the real solution. #RejectTheRose
·         Nobody knows a woman's specific situation — we're not in her shoes. #RejectTheRose
·         Women's health matters. #RejectTheRose
·         Trust Oklahoma Women! #RejectTheRose
·         We all want to protect women's health.  #RejectTheRose
·         As legislators consider policy on women's health, it's critical to listen to doctors and medical experts who know legal abortion is safe. #RejectTheRose
·         The ability to control your own fertility is a fundamental human right. #RejectTheRose
·         Decisions about childbearing should be made by a woman, in consultation with her family, her doctor, and her conscience — not politicians. #RejectTheRose
    
  


Thank you for standing up for women's health and reproductive rights in your community, for current generations, and for generations to come.

Sincerely,


Your friends at Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma

Monday, December 15, 2014

Make a New Year's Resolution to stand with Planned Parenthood!

Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma cares. No matter what. It is a mantra we are fully dedicated to now, and in years to come. And we hope you’ll care too, by standing with us in the New Year.

It seems like a no-brainer to us that everyone deserves access to the healthcare and education it takes to responsibly manage one’s fertility regardless of income, race, sexual orientation, marital status, or residence. However, we know that in bright red Oklahoma our legislative body stands in the way of our mission far too often. As 2014 comes to an end, and we prepare for the new legislative session we here at Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma ask that you make a New Year’s Resolution to support us in the coming year.

There are several ways you can get involved, and show your support:

1. Contact your state congressmen. We know this may seem hopeless… But they need to hear the voices of pro-choice constituents. Your reason for supporting access to reproductive healthcare might just be the one that resonates with them. Find your legislators and their contact information here. 


2. Keep an eye out for our events! We post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram every time we host a pubic event. We have fun events like the Roe v. Wade anniversary party, and we have more serious events like Women’s Health Day at the capitol. You and all your friends are invited! 




3. Donate. Frankly, we couldn't do the work we do without funding from the community. Our medical services are significantly less expensive than at private practices, we offer free condoms to patients, and our education seminars reach to the far corners of the state. All those things cost us money so every little contribution helps. 


4. Come to one of our clinics for your next annual exam, or STI test. Since you have to get that annual exam anyway, you might as well utilize our medical services! It’s going to cost you less than a private doctor visit anyway. 



5. Talk to your friends and family about your pro-choice beliefs. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is stigma. Too many people misunderstand what we do at Planned Parenthood. The stigma will fade away if we can all open up and tell our personal stories. 



6. Help us prepare for direct lobbying this year by telling us your reasons for using contraceptives. We expect some Hobby Lobby style bills seeking to limit access to contraceptives, and we need your help explaining to congressmen that birth control is healthcare. So visit this page to tell us about your experience with birth control. 



 We are here for the community so we want to share the love with you all! Your support means so much to us. Have a happy holiday season, and a happy new year! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Get Yourself Tested

April is 'Get Yourself Tested' month. The #GYT campaign was created by the National Centers for Disease Control, to raise awareness of the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases. 


Having regular STD tests is part of practicing safer sex. It is equally as important as consistently using birth control. Recent studies show that Chlamydia tops the list of most common STDs, but the tricky thing about Chlamydia is that most of the time it shows no symptoms at all while doing long term damage to reproductive organs. While STDs are a very real hazard, it's nothing to be ashamed of. So do the responsible thing and #GetYourselfTested!  

STD tests are not painful (the worst think you’ll be asked to do it pee in a cup), and at Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma they are not expensive either. Call and ask about the “Peace of Mind” package which tests for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HIV, and Syphilis. Since females are anatomically more susceptible to transmission of STDs they are additionally tested for Bacterial Vaginosis, Trichomoniasis, and Yeast.

 Know your status! #GYT