Syphilis, chlamydia rates jump and health officials are worried

Categories: Health

A syphilis awareness poster from the 1930s.
How can it be that after decades of public service announcements, education campaigns and plain old word of mouth, some nasty sexually transmitted disease infection rates are climbing, not falling in Minnesota?

That's what's happening.

Total STD cases in the state numbered 17,760 in 2010, compared to 16,912 in 2009, according to new figures released by the Minnesota Department of Health.

"Not only does this total represent a 6 percent increase from the previous year," said Peter Carr, who manages the STD program at MDH, "it's the highest number of cases ever recorded in Minnesota in a single year since we began tracking chlamydia back in 1986."

Syphilis cases hit a 30-year high of 347, a 62 percent spike over 2009. Chlamydia cases reached a record 15,294. Gonorrhea cases marked the only positive trend: 2,119 cases in 2010, down 9 percent from 2009.

Chlamydia is a statewide problem. A disease that can make women and some men infertile, it can be passed to a baby during pregnancy and lead to premature birth and blindness or pneumonia in a newborn. Seventy percent of all cases cases are in teens and young adults ages 15 to 24.

Syphilis, with its chancre sores, lesions and even, in late stages, brain and other organ damage, blindness and even death, is concentrated in the Twin Cities, MDH says. Infections are mostly among white men who have sex with other men.

Come on folks. Get screened. Get protected. MDH says it's launching a chlamydia awareness campaign this month, and a similar program this summer targeting syphilis.

Need more advice? Call the Minnesota Family Planning & STD Hotline, toll free, at 1-800-78-FACTS (voice or TTY), 651-645-9360 (Metro area), or visit

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Jon L.
Jon L.

I have no idea what happens with straight people, and because they make up over 90% of the population, I guess it's up to them when it concerns their responsibilities to protect themselves. With gay men, however, it's very clear to me that the last decade has been one of a failed, declining community which is more closeted than ever, thanks to internet chat rooms. Gay men, for the most part, couldn't care less what happens to other gay men. We're raised to believe that gay people are worthless and don't deserve to be happy; just because we come out as gay doesn't mean that changes - it just means that we become hypocrites - WE don't feel that way about ourselves, but we still think other gay men aren't worth anything. That's why HIV keeps on spreading. That's why gay men want nothing to do with each other (unless the other guy can get you something). This marriage thing is a joke; most gay men have the dating skills that rival 13 year olds' or people with Down's Syndrome. When you put together a group of men who have been told their entire lives to never expect to be happy or feel worthy, just because suddenly they're together, it doesn't erase all that history. It just means that now we attack each other, and we go after the very people who had nothing to do with what happened to us. It's really too bad because this was the attitude in 1991; in 2011 - nothing has changed. We better hope that there's still money to research HIV and AIDS over the next two decades - if that money goes away, and those who are HIV+ become drug resistant, we are right back to 1983.


think you mean STI's. get with the times city pages

balls deep
balls deep

More men are realizing they cant get women to have NSA sex with them unless they put in some real effort. Its far to easy to go to craigslist and find a man to take it in all the way or blow and go. Gay men treat themselves as worthless, they offer to bottom up and get other men off with nothing in return and they often take a load of STIs/STDs in with them. More straight men are going bi for a man on man quickie fix up, and without thinking go unprotected. Gay men want to be treated like doormats, tied up and done deep to where its borderline rape

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