The MDH (Minnesota Department of Health) released a new report last month indicating that the number of sexually transmitted infections hit another record in Minnesota in 2016, including a 30 percent increase in new syphilis cases and a 25 percent increase in new gonorrhea cases. Overall, 28,631 STD cases were reported to MDH last year.
Chlamydia is the number one reported infectious disease in the state and reached a new high of 22,675 cases with gonorrhea remaining the second most commonly reported STD with 5,104 cases reported in 2016. Adolescents and young adults (defined as 15-24 year olds) accounted for 64% of chlamydia and 46% of gonorrhea cases diagnosed in Minnesota.
Our Nurse Manager, Julie Schewe, reacted to the news, “It is sobering to see the increase in STI rates in Minnesota.”
It is sobering to see the increase in STI rates in Minnesota.
New Life Family Services began offering STD testing and treatment in 2013 through our First Care Pregnancy Centers. We provide comprehensive testing and treatment for both males and females and are one of few local organizations offering the service for free.
In the first year (2013) offering STD testing, First Care Pregnancy Centers provided 77 tests. Just four years later, in 2016, we provided 743 STD tests, with 67% of the clients falling within the high risk 15-24 year old range.
“The reality today is that sexually transmitted diseases greatly impact teens and young adults, and so by offering free STD testing and treatment, we are meeting them in a place of need, offering them a chance to get tested and treated, while also talking through their current sexual choices, and if they line up with their beliefs and goals,” said Schewe.
By offering free STD testing and treatment, we are meeting them in a place of need, offering them a chance to get tested and treated, while also talking through their current sexual choices…
Executive Director Tammy Kocher added, “What a great opportunity we have to meet with people in one of the most vulnerable moments of their lives. We recognize the privilege we have to care for people not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. As we continue to provide this vital medical service, we recognize that the same people coming to us for STD testing are also at risk for unplanned pregnancies. This service allows us to reach a group of people we were previously unable to reach.”
As we continue responding to the needs of young people in our communities, we will be adding STD testing & treatment to our center in Richfield this summer. This will be the third First Care center to offer the service and this location is just one block away from the local Planned Parenthood. Donate online to support New Life Family Services’ efforts to serve client with STD testing and pregnancy related services.