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STDs reach all-time high in Minnesota

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DULUTH, Minn. - Sexually transmitted diseases have reached historically high levels in Minnesota, a state epidemiologist said Thursday.

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In an annual report, the Minnesota Department of Health reported 21,465 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in 2012, up from 19,547 in 2011 and 18,009 in 2010. The total number from 2012 is the highest yet reported, the Health Department’s Kristin Ehresmann said.

The number of syphilis cases actually declined by 8 percent, the department reported, but chlamydia cases were up 7 percent and gonorrhea cases up 35 percent.

Chlamydia was the most common infectious disease in the state last year, Ehresmann said, and gonorrhea would have been second except for an unusual outbreak of whooping cough.

Ehresmann attributed the decrease in syphilis cases to a “cutting edge and targeted campaign” aimed at men who have sex with men.

“I think the community has embraced that information, and I think it’s making a difference,” she said.

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