Minnesota Health Officials Alarmed by STD Surge
April 7, 2011
Minnesota logged a record number of reportable STD cases last year: 17,760, up from 16,912 in 2009, the state Department of Health said Wednesday. Young adults, men who have sex with men (MSM), and African Americans were disproportionately affected.
Chlamydia cases grew 6 percent last year, hitting an all-time high of 15,294. Young adults ages 15-24 accounted for 70 percent of the cases, though that age group represents just 14 percent of the state's population.
"The biggest concerns we have with chlamydia are that it affects our younger age groups, often goes unnoticed, and it can lead to serious and costly reproductive health consequences if not treated," said Peter Carr, manager of the department's STD and HIV section. Of those with chlamydia, three-fourths of females and half of males are asymptomatic.
Syphilis cases reached a 30-year high, rising 62 percent from 2009 to 347 last year. MSM accounted for nearly 90 percent of the cases, and 23 percent of cases were African-American. Early syphilis diagnoses rose to 221 last year from 117 in 2009. MSM accounted for 89 percent of these cases, among whom 66 percent were white. Nearly 57 percent of the MSM patients also had HIV.
"Testing and diagnosing the disease in its early stages is critical as that is when the disease is most infectious," said Carr.
While it was the second-most reported STD, gonorrhea incidence fell 9 percent last year, to 2,119 cases. Gonorrhea has declined 36 percent in the past five years. The drop may reflect screening, partner follow-up and treatment strategies, Carr said.
For more information, visit: www.health.state.mn.us/news/pressrel/2011/std040611.html.
04.06.2011; Tara Bannow
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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