Minnesota STD cases increase

by Branden Largent

The number of sexually transmitted disease cases increased by 10 percent in 2012, according to new data released by the Minnesota Department of Health

Cases of chlamydia rose by 7 percent, while gonorrhea had the biggest increase with 35 percent. Meanwhile, syphilis dropped by 15 percent, according to MDH data. 

Chlamydia rates were highest among 20-24 year olds with 2,015 cases per 100,000 people. Minnesota's chlamydia rate has increased by 68 percent in the last decade, according to the report. 

MDH epidemiologists and disease control specialists investigating the data will work with community partners, health care providers and public health providers to develop a response plan in the next few months, Minnesota Commissioner of Health Ed Ehlinger told WCCO

Ehlinger said the drop in syphilis cases was "encouraging news" that could be the results of investments in the Hennepin County Public Health Clinic and the Stop Syph MN campaign–a local campaign educating men who have sex with men about risks associated with acquiring and spreading syphilis. 

Almost 20 million new STDs occur each year nationwide and it costs $16 billion each year to treat newly-contracted STDs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention