MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – State health officials say sexually transmitted diseases continue to rise in Minnesota, with record numbers of chlamydia and hepatitis C cases reported last year.
The Minnesota Department of Health says that new statistics from 2017 show a general increase in STD cases, while HIV numbers were slightly down and disparities between groups persisted.
“Communities of color, men who have sex with men and people who inject drugs continue to have higher rates of STDs, HIV and hepatitis C,” Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said, in a statement.
Chlamydia was the No. 1 reported STD in Minnesota, with a record number of 23,528 cases reported last year, a 4-percent increase over 2016.
Increases were also seen in the number of gonorrhea and syphilis cases, which were up 28 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
The number of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis cases combined were up 8 percent last year over 2016, which also saw a spike in those STDs.
As for HIV, there were 284 cases reported in 2017, slightly down from 290 cases in 2016. In the last five years, there’s been an average of 300 new HIV cases per year.
Of the 2017 HIV cases, men accounted for 74 percent of them, with men of color and those having male-to-male sex making up a significant percentage.
Record numbers were also seen for hepatitis C cases last year. The number of resolved cases reached a new high (2,982), as did the number of acute cases (59).
Health officials say that sexually transmitted diseases are highly preventable and urge the public – especially those who are sexually active and injecting drugs – to undergo an STD test at least once a year.