CONTACT: Kathi Di Nicola
Published: | Updated: 08.02.10
CONTACT: Kathi Di Nicola
Minnesota Chlamydia Partnership Summit, August 3, 2010
(St. Paul) In response to the epidemic of chlamydia in Minnesota, Planned Parenthood has joined with the Minnesota Department of Health and other public health partners to organize the Minnesota Chlamydia Partnership (MCP) for the purpose of developing a statewide strategy to reduce rates and prevent new cases.
The partnership will hold a Chlamydia Summit, August 3, from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Snelling Office Park Building, 1645 Energy Park Drive in St. Paul. More on the summit can be found here. PPMNS health care and policy experts will be available for comment to the media.
The partners in this effort are Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS), the Dakota County Department of Public Health and Human Services, the City of Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support, the Powell Women’s Health Center at the U of M and Teen Age Medical Services in Minneapolis and the Minnesota Department of Health.
Early this year, PPMNS released a report on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and urged the State of Minnesota to enact a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to reducing the state’s rising STI rates.
“The persistent increase in STI’s, particularly chlamydia, in our state must be addressed. PPMNS is proud to join with the public health community and policy makers to work together to find a solution to this serious health issue,” said PPMNS President and CEO Sarah Stoesz. “As a major provider of education, testing and treatment of STI’s throughout Minnesota we know firsthand the importance of developing a strategy to address this health threat,” Stoesz said.
Chlamydia is the most commonly reported infectious disease in Minnesota, with 14,350 cases identified in 2008. Rates of chlamydia have more than doubled over the last 14 years, and have especially impacted young people, women, communities of color, and American Indians. Among Minnesota women, chlamydia incidence has more than doubled since 1996; among Minnesota’s young adult population, chlamydia incidence has more than tripled.
More than 94% of Planned Parenthood’s 64,000 patients are women, the majority of whom are young adults, and 19% of whom are from communities of color. This population - female patients aged 26 and younger - are at the greatest risk of acquiring an STI. Many STIs s can cause permanent damage if not treated early. For example, women infected with chlamydia are at risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease. Long term complications may include infertility, chronic pain and ectopic pregnancy and a significantly increased risk of acquiring HIV.