The number of Minnesotans with sexually transmitted diseases increased by 10 percent in 2012 compared to the year before, according to a new report from the state Health Department.
The number of reported cases in 2012 totaled 21,465, compared to 19,547 in 2011 and 18,009 in 2010.
STDs in Minnesota include chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.
According to the report, chlamydia is the No. 1 reported infectious disease in the state and reached a new high of 18,048 cases in 2012, a 7 percent increase over 2011.
Gonorrhea remains the second most commonly reported STD in Minnesota, with 3,082 cases reported in 2012 compared to 2,283 cases reported in 2011, a 35 percent increase.
Syphilis cases dropped 8 percent with 335 cases in 2012, compared to 366 cases reported in 2011.
"We're really seeing the bulk of these cases being in the 15 to 24-year-old age group," said Kris Ehresmann, the health department's director for infectious disease activities. "That speaks to the importance of not only providers looking at having conversations about sexual health with teens and making sure they're getting screened, but also parents making sure they're having those conversations with their kids."
The Health Department recommends annual screenings because many STDs can occur without symptoms. Untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to infertility in men and women, and an infected woman can pass it to her newborn child.