The number of reported sexually transmitted diseases in Minnesota dropped slightly last year, according to figures released on Tuesday by the state's Health Department.
The state recorded 16,702 cases of sexually transmitted diseases in 2009, a 5 percent decline from the previous year. The figures include four STDs -- chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and chancroid.
Chlamydia remains the most commonly reported STD in the state, accounting for 85 percent of the total number of STD cases last year. Nearly 70 percent of the cases occurred in people aged 15 to 24.
Gonorrhea remained the second most commonly reported STD, although the number of reported cases declined by 24 percent from 2008 to 2009.
State health officials say the drop is part of a national trend. Preliminary national reports have shown a 21 percent drop in gonorrhea cases in 2009.
The number of reported early syphilis cases in Minnesota dropped by 28 percent last year. State health officials say that new outbreaks continue to be centered within the Twin Cities metro area, with white men accounting for the vast majority of cases.
Health officials recommend that people who are sexually active get tested for STDs at least once a year.
The state Health Department sponsors a confidential hotline that provides information about STD prevention, testing, and treatment.
The Minnesota Family Planning & STD Hotline can be reached at 1-800-783-2287 or 651-645-9360.