Minnesotans have a lot of STDs

According to a new report out from the Minnesota Department of Health, 2011 was a banner year for STDs.

Finishing out the year with a record-setting 16,898 reported cases, chlamydia came out on top in the race to screw up our sex lives. Left untreated, that is a nasty little disease that can have real consequences, especially for women.

"There's a pretty strong possibility it can lead to infertility," says Peter Carr, manager of the STD and HIV Section.

Reported cases of syphilis went up slightly, from 350 in 2010 to 366 in 2011. Gonorrhea cases increased about 6 percent, with 2,283 cases.

Although an across the board increase is no good, Carr says the statistical increases over the last 10 years for chlamydia (90 percent increase) and syphilis (a whopping 271 percent) probably is due to the fact that more people are getting tested -- a very good thing.

Still, the data shows some persistent and disturbing trends. African-Americans were ten times more likely to have chlamydia than whites, and 26 times more likely to contract gonorrhea. Men who have sex with men accounted for the majority of syphilis cases.

"If they're not detected and treated appropriately it can lead to long term consequences," says Carr.

So -- get tested early, get tested often. Minnesota also has a pretty neat program that allows patients who test positive to get medication for their partners, free of charge. All the information and data is here.

HIV and hepatitis rates are tracked separately, and that data comes out later this month. Until then, remember -- safe sex is sexy sex!

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