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Minnesota STD rates at record highs, new report shows

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Sexually transmitted diseases were up sharply in Minnesota between 2012 and 2013.

Chlamydia is the number one reported infectious disease in Minnesota. Last year saw a record number of cases – 18,724 – in 2013, up four percent over 2012.

That translates to 353 out of 100,000 residents.

The numbers show a critical need for more testing and treatment in the state, health officials say. 

The overall rate of sexually transmitted disease increased 10 percent last year over 2012. The numbers were up at a much higher rate for specific conditions and in specific geographic areas.

STD rates were highest in Minneapolis.

And young people and people of color in the state were especially at risk for STDs.

Young adults between the ages of 15 and 24 accounted for the overwhelming majority of chlamydia and gonorrhea cases.

“Untreated STDs can have serious health consequences,” Dr. Ed Ehlinger, state health commissioner told the Star Tribune. 

“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,” he says.

Sexually transmitted infections, in general, were more common among low-income and minority populations in Minnesota with fewer access to medical care, testing and treatment, he says.

The report shows men who have sex with men accounted for most of the uptick in syphilis cases last year. Syphilis cases were also up for women, with 30 cases last year compared to 18 the year before.

From the report:

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