Health officials in Minnesota on Tuesday reported that the number of sexually transmitted diseases in the state increased 19% from 2001 to 2002, with many of the new infections occurring among gay and bisexual men, the
St. Paul Pioneer Press
reports. The number of reported chlamydia cases increased 21%, from 8,323 in 2001 to 10,107 in 2002; gonorrhea cases increased 13%, from 2,701 in 2001 to 3,049 last year; reported cases of syphilis in all stages increased 10% over the same period, from 134 cases to 148 cases, with reported early-stage syphilis cases increasing 67%, from 49 cases in 2001 to 82 cases in 2002. Nearly 70% of all the early-stage syphilis cases were reported among gay and bisexual men. Men who have sex with men also accounted for significant proportions of chlamydia and gonorrhea infections. The rising numbers worry state health officials, who believe that unprotected sex is on the rise in the state, which also could lead to rising HIV infection rates.
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