MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Reportable sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have increased in Minnesota, according to a report from the Minnesota Department of Health.
Reportable STDs, which include chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, increased by 10 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year. There were 21,465 total STD cases reported in 2012 compared to 19,547 cases reported in 2011. There were 18,009 cases reported in 2010.
According to the report, the number one reported infectious disease in the state, chlamydia, reached a new high of 18,048 cases in 2012, compared to 16,898 in 2011 – a 7 percent increase.
Gonorrhea cases increased at the highest rate — 35 percent — from 2,283 cases in 2011 to 3,082 cases in 2012.
“Gonorrhea had the largest increase last year,” said Dr. Ed Ehlinger, Minnesota Commissioner of Health. “Our epidemiologists and disease control specialists are currently investigating the data and we will develop a response plan in the next few months to work with our community partners and health care and public health providers.”
The MDH report also shows higher infection rates for chlamydia and gonorrhea among communities of color and American Indians when compared to whites.
Syphilis cases, however, dropped 8 percent with 335 cases in 2012 compared to 366 cases in 2011.
“The encouraging news within the report shows that we had a drop in syphilis cases,” said Ehlinger. “This could be a result of investing in community-based agencies such as the Hennepin County Public Health Clinic and the Stop Syph MN Campaign.”
The MDH said sexually active people should get tested regularly and take steps to prevent STDs.
To prevent getting or spreading STDs, the MDH suggests abstaining from sexual contact, delaying the start of sexual activity, limiting the number of sexual partners, always using latex condoms during sex, and by not sharing needles for drug use, piercing or tattooing.
For more information on the report, visit the MDH website.