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Sexually transmitted diseases continue to rise in Minnesota

There were more than 32,000 reported cases of STDs in 2018.

The Minnesota Department of Health on Tuesday released data from 2018 that shows a continued rise in sexual transmitted diseases (STDs). 

According to the report, there were 32,024 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis reported in Minnesota in 2018, up from 30,981 in 2017. 

Chlamydia

The most common STD was chlamydia, which jumped 2 percent from 2017 totals to 23,564. The disease was most common in people ages 15-24, with one of every three cases in greater Minnesota. 

There were at least four chlamydia cases in every Minnesota county, the MDH says. 

Gonorrhea

No STD spiked as much as gonorrhea, with 7,542 cases reported in 2018, up 16 percent from 2017 numbers. Nearly half of those cases (42 percent) were reported among 15- to 24-year-olds. 

The seven-county Twin Cities metro area accounted for 75 percent of all gonorrhea cases. 

Syphilis

There were 918 syphilis cases reported in 2018, which is down 2 percent from 2017. The STD was prominent in the the metro, particularly among gay men, the MDH says. 

More concerning to the MDH are the 10 cases of congenital syphilis (syphilis in a fetus or infant at birth). Although just 10 cases, it shows a rate of 15.1 for every 100,000 live births, which is the highest Minnesota has ever reported and reveals a 400 percent jump from 2017. 

The Minnesota Department of Health notes that many STDs show no symptoms, and the only way to know for sure is to be tested. Prevention tactics include proper use of condoms and avoiding the shared use of injection drug, tattoo and piercing equipment. 

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