The state of Minnesota has been experiencing an increase in reported STD cases over the past several years. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the rate of syphilis has increased 30%, the rate of gonorrhea has increased 25% and the rate of hepatitis C has increased 38% in the past year alone.
Chlamydia is the most common among reported cases with 22,675 cases reported in 2016. That was nearly over 1,000 more cases than what was reported in 2015. Most cases appear in patients between the ages of 15 and 24. Gonorrhea infections reached a number of 5,104. 46% of those cases were reported in the same age group of 15 to 24. There were 852 new cases of syphilis in the state. Most unusual though, was the increase in hepatitis C cases. There were 51 new cases of the infection, which normally is considerably lower.
Dr. Ed Ehlinger, Minnesota Commissioner of Health claims, ““This alarming rise in STDs and hepatitis C is of urgent concern,” Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger said in a prepared statement. Health officials in the state have recommended those who are sexually active or who inject drugs to get tested at least once each year for STDs, HIV and hepatitis C. They also urge limiting sex partners, using condoms and not sharing needles when injecting drugs.
In 2011, The Minnesota Department of Education released a report on the teacher’s perspective on sexual health education within the state’s school systems. There was an overwhelmingly high level of support from educators in the state to increase resources particularly in regards to new STD information. Today, while sexual health is taught in schools, the resources for updating information remain the same and STD rates in Minnesota continue to rise to historic numbers.
If you are concerned with contracting an STD there are plenty of STD testing option in Minnesota.The best way to know the current status of your sexual health is to have STD testing performed. If left untreated, STDs and HIV can lead to more serious health complications.