Syphilis cases up 25% in Minnesota

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Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 8:06 AM CDT
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (Valley News Live) - An alarming rise in syphilis is being reported in the state of Minnesota, while other STDs are slowing on the decline.

The Minnesota Department of Health says cases of syphilis went from 1,457 cases in 2021 to 1,832 cases in 2022, a 25 percent increase. The department says syphilis is hitting some of the highest levels in recent years with new infections centered around the Twin Cities.

MDH says new syphilis cases in 2022 were mostly among men who have sex with men. However, the department notes cases among females or people who can get pregnant pose a serious risk of congenital syphilis.

Congenital syphilis increase 42 percent in 2022. Congenital syphilis happens when a pregnant person passes the infection to their baby during child birth. Children with congenital syphilis can have deformed bones, enlarged liver and spleens, severe anemia and brain and nerve problems.

The newest report from MDH shows chlamydia is the most reported STD in the state with 22,079 cases, a 2 percent decrease from the year before.

Gonorrhea is the second most reported STD in the state with 8,161 cases, showing a 15 percent decrease from the year before.

The Department of Health also notes 262 newly diagnosed cases of HIV in Minnesota in 2022, bringing the estimated number of people living with HIV/AIDS to 9,805. The report says 65 percent of new HIV cases affect communities of color.

MDH reminds the public testing and treatment for STDs are key in preventing the spread of infections. Visit the Minnesota Family Planning & STI Hotline for more information or the MDH HIV Prevention Grantees.

The complete report on sexual health in the state can be found here.