Minnesotans are getting more and more STDs

Sexually-transmitted disease numbers rose again last year.
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The latest sexually-transmitted disease numbers are out for Minnesota and they don't make for comfortable reading.

Figures for 2017 released by the Minnesota Department of Health showed another rise compared to the year earlier, prompting warnings for drug users and those with active sex lives to get regularly tested.

As well as almost 31,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis reported in 2017, compared to just over 28,600 a year earlier, cases of Hepatitis C doubled to a new record high in Minnesota.

“A lot of people assume they only need to get tested if they have symptoms,” said Krissie Guerard, manager of the STD, HIV and TB section at the Minnesota Department of Health.

"The truth is that STDs, HIV and hepatitis C often have no symptoms. We urge people who are sexually active and people who inject drugs to get tested at least yearly for STDs, HIV and hepatitis C to protect their health and the health of their partners."

What diseases are going up?

Here's a breakdown of reported STD cases in 2017, compared to 2016.

Chlamydia: 23,528 cases in 2017, a 4 percent rises from 22,675 in 2016.

Gonorrhea: 6,519 cases in 2017, a 28 percent rise on 5,104 in 2016.

– Syphilis: 934 cases in 2017, a 10 percent rise from 852 in 2016.

HIV: 284 cases in 2017, down slightly from 290 reported in 2016.

Hepatitis C: 2,982 newly-resolved infections (which means the infection cleared up following treatment), up more than 100 percent on the 1,421 in 2016.

Acute hepatitis C: 59 cases in 2017, a 15 percent rise on the 51 in 2016.

Figures highlight disparities

As was the case last year, there were a number of disparities in who is contracting these diseases.

While HIV cases were stable, there remains a higher rate among communities of color and gay men. The same is the case for syphilis among men who have sex with men.

Meanwhile, half of the acute hepatitis. C cases came from injection drug use.

Outside of the Twin Cities, chlamydia was a bigger issue, with 1 in every 3 cases reported in the state coming from Greater Minnesota, despite it accounting for a smaller proportion of the population.

The number of cases with the most infectious stages of syphilis also rose by 18 percent in Greater Minnesota, despite decreasing overall by 5 percent.

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