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U.S. News

Minnesota's STD Numbers Climbed to a New High in 2008

April 6, 2009

Reported bacterial STD cases in Minnesota rose 3.5 percent from 2007 to 2008, despite a significant drop in gonorrhea cases, according to the newly released annual state Department of Health STD report.

Chlamydia was the most commonly reported STD, with 14,350 diagnoses last year, a 7 percent increase over the 2007 number, said Peter Carr, director of the department's STD section. Since 1996, chlamydia cases have more than doubled, with the greatest increases seen in the suburbs and areas outside of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Both regions reported an 11 percent rise in chlamydia cases. Nearly 70 percent of diagnoses were in people ages 15-24.

"What surprised us was the sudden and large increase in cases among males," Carr said. "We saw a 13 percent increase among 15- to 24-year-old males compared to the 2007 report." Black residents had a rate of 2,111 cases of chlamydia per 100,000 population. Most residents with chlamydia were females, with a rate of 413 cases per 100,000 population.

New cases of gonorrhea plunged 12 percent to 3,036 cases, with nearly 80 percent of diagnoses in Minneapolis-St. Paul and suburbs. African Americans had an infection rate 40 times that of whites.

Experts explained the racial disparities as partly due to poverty, less access to health care, and the self-sustaining character of a high rate of infection. Black residents are not more likely to be sexually active, and about half of both blacks and whites use condoms regularly.

New syphilis cases jumped 40 percent in 2008 to 163 cases, almost all among men who have sex with men (MSM). The number of MSM with primary and secondary syphilis increased 87 percent, with reports from across all geographic areas. However, Minneapolis accounted for 44 percent of MSM cases. While whites comprised 77 percent of syphilis cases, African Americans had a rate almost five times higher than that among whites.

Back to other news for April 2009

Adapted from:
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
04.01.2009; Josephine Marcotty

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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