Published: | Updated: 04.19.12
Today, the Minnesota Department of Health released the latest report on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Minnesota. The report shows that STIs have increased 8% overall since 2010. Chlamydia rates have increased 9%, gonorrhea rates have increased 5% and syphilis rates have decreased by 8%.
“Today’s report illustrates that there is much work left to be done in Minnesota to combat the ever rising STI rates in Minnesota.” said PPMNS President and CEO Sarah Stoesz. “It’s especially concerning to see that rates of Chlamydia continue to rise and that health disparities among communities of color in Minnesota continue to persist when it comes to STIs.”
“Every young person in the state deserves access to health care services and sexual health education that can help them prevent STIs and stay healthy” continued Stoesz. “We need a robust public policy response in order to increase access to the prevention education, screening and treatment necessary to curb STI rates in the state. The health and future fertility of young Minnesotans depends on it.”
Planned Parenthood sees the toll STIs take on our communities across the state each day. More than 94% of Planned Parenthood’s 64,000 patients are women. This population - female patients aged 26 and younger - are at the greatest risk of acquiring an STI, in particularly chlamydia. Many STIs can cause permanent damage if not treated early. For example, women infected with gonorrhea or 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.
Planned Parenthood administers approximately 60,000 STI tests annually, including HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HPV. Planned Parenthood provides reproductive health education programming with a focus on reducing STIs and HIV and unintended pregnancies and provides sex education programs that empower communities to make healthy, responsible decisions about their reproductive health.
For more than 80 years, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota has worked in our region to make sure all people have the information and the means to make free and responsible decisions about whether and when to have children. Planned Parenthood operates 20 clinics in Minnesota and South Dakota and an Online Health Center, providing quality and affordable family planning, reproductive health care services and education to nearly 64,000 women and men each year.