More than 1 in 2 Americans will get STD in lifetime

More than 1 in 2 Americans will get STD in lifetime

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Sexually transmitted diseases and infections are one of the state’s most persistent health problems, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Public awareness and knowledge are critically low around the country, and STDs remain at epidemic levels.

Undiagnosed, they can lead to lifelong health problems, including damage to joints, heart, reproductive organs and the brain. However, STDs are largely preventable and most are curable or can be controlled to prevent complications.

Before your next excursion, keep these statistics in mind, and take steps to protect yourself. Statistics are collected by MDH and Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

•Over one in two Americans will contract an STD at some point in their lifetimes.

•Nearly 20 million estimated new STDs occur each year in the U.S.

•One in two sexually active persons will contract an STD/STI by age 25.

•One in four teens contract an STD/STI each year.

•Human papillomavirus or genital warts is the most common.

•An estimated one in five Americans, or 50 million people, have genital herpes. That’s about 776,000 new infections occur each year.

•STD/STI in the U.S. is the leading cause of cervical cancer.

•Each year, there are almost 3 million new cases of chlamydia.

•Nearly $16 billion is the total estimated direct cost of STDs annually.

Chlamydia is the most commonly reported communicable disease in Minnesota. From an all-time low of 115 cases per 100,000 in 1996, the incidence has tripled in 2014 to 375 per 100,000.

Over the past decade (2004-2014), Minnesota’s chlamydia rates showed an overall increase of 64 percent while the rate of gonorrhea has fluctuated but has shown an overall increase of 33 percent.

Rates of primary/secondary syphilis have increased 860 percent in 10 years.

Within Minnesota, STD rates continued to be highest in Minneapolis. However, the Twin Cities suburbs and outstate Minnesota accounted for a large percentage of STD cases.

Adolescents and young adults, ages 15-24, accounted for 66 percent of chlamydia and 51 percent of gonorrhea cases reported in 2014.

Follow Stephanie Dickrell on Twitter @SctimesSteph, call her at 255-8749 or find more stories at www.sctimes.com/sdickrell.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea cases and rates by county

On a mobile device? View the table at http://on.sctimes.com/1hQqfWX

  Chlamydia   Gonorrhea  
  Number of cases Rate per 100,000 people Number of cases Rate per 100,000 people
Benton County 152 395 15 39
Sherburne County 259 293 27 31
Stearns County 513 341 64 42

Source: Minnesota Department of Health, Annual Summary: 2014 Minnesota Sexually Transmitted Disease Statistics.

STD Resources

STD, HIV and TB Section, Minnesota Department of Health, 651-201-5414

Minnesota Family Planning and STD Hotline, 1-800-783-2287 Voice/TTY; 651-645-9360, Metro

American Social Health Association (ASHA)

Information on symptoms, prevention and treatment, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC National STD and AIDS Hotlines, 1-800-CDC-INFO; 1-888-232-6348 TTY

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