ST. PAUL (April 16, 2014) — A new report from the Minnesota Department of Health shows significant increases in the rates of some sexually transmitted diseases from 2012 to 2013. While the state’s overall STD rate increased 10 percent, the increases were much higher for syphilis (up 64 percent) and gonorrhea (up 26 percent).
The report is available on the MDH website at www.health.state.mn.us/std.
According to Dr. Ed Ehlinger, Minnesota Commissioner of Health, the increased STD rates documented in the report underscore the importance of prevention, testing, and awareness.
“Untreated STDs can have serious health consequences,” Commissioner Ehlinger said. “Testing, diagnosing and treating these diseases in their early stages will prevent long-term health problems and slow their spread. Since most STDs don’t show symptoms, it’s important for sexually active people to get tested each year or when involved with a new partner.”
Reportable STDs in Minnesota include chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. There were 23,133 cases reported in Minnesota in 2013, compared to 21,465 in 2012 and 19,547 in 2011. The report shows higher infection rates for chlamydia and gonorrhea among communities of color and American Indians when compared to whites. Increases in syphilis infection rates were seen among African-American, Asian and white MSM.
“These disparities exist among populations that have the fewest opportunities to access prevention programs and testing due to social, medical and/or income disadvantages,” Commissioner Ehlinger said. “We need to expand our partnerships with our most impacted communities to ensure these services are available and being used.” http://sexualhealthmn.org