Rapidly increasing rates of chlamydia in Minnesota have led the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS), in conjunction with other state public health groups, to form the Minnesota Chlamydia Partnership, which aims to reduce chlamydia rates through prevention and education efforts.
According to a state health report released last week, the number of reported chlamydia cases in Minnesota are at an all-time high. Peter Carr, director of the STI and HIV section of the MDH, stated, “Chlamydia reached a record level of 15,294 cases this past year. Not only does this total represent a 6 percent increase from the previous year, it’s the highest number of cases ever recorded in Minnesota in a single year since we began tracking chlamydia back in 1986.”
“We have a preventable public health problem in Minnesota,” said Ellen Young, PPMNS Director of Government Relations and Education and Outreach. “Planned Parenthood is committed to working toward a solution to stem this epidemic.”
The chlamydia epidemic is disproportionately affecting African Americans and young people. Fifteen to twenty-four year olds comprise 70 percent of all cases. Surprisingly, only a small percentage (less than one percent) of students at the University of Minnesota was diagnosed with chlamydia.
Planned Parenthood health centers across the country provide testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. In Minnesota, Planned Parenthood provides primary and preventive health care for some 64,000 women and men.