Minnesota sees 25% increase in syphilis cases
Even though that may be a huge increase, local health professionals say: it may not all necessarily be bad news.
Minn. (Valley News Live) -Shocking data from the Minnesota Department of Health shows a 25% increase in syphilis cases from 2021 to 2022. Even though that may be a huge increase, local health professionals say: it may not all necessarily be bad news.
“I think it’s wise to you know have screening at least once a year,” says Essentia Health OB/GYN Dr. Stefanie Gefroh-Ellison.
Sometimes testing may be the only way you find out if you have an STD, and with syphilis cases in Minnesota hitting the highest level in recent years, doctors are urging you to get tested.
“Certainly if you change partners, that is always a good time to be tested, before you’re intimate with a new partner,” explains Dr. Gefroh-Ellison.
She tells us during the COVID-19 pandemic, people developed more of a ‘relaxed attitude’ towards using protection with new partners. This could be a contributor to the surge in cases.
“I think we have to get more comfortable with having that dialogue with a new partner: when was the last time you got tested and I’ve even advocated for my patients: ask to see their results so that you can trust and verify,” states Dr. Gefroh-Ellison.
With case levels in Minnesota climbing up to 2,000, Dr.Gefroh-Ellison says these numbers may be scary. However, she says there are some positives to come out of this.
“Well we are seeing that gonorrhea and chlamydia are on the decline, which is promising. And I think it just goes to show that when we are intentional about screen at risk populations that we can definitely make a positive impact,” she says.
Health professionals say to make it easy on yourself and at least get screened once a year while you’re already at your annual exam.
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