Number infected with STDs increases in state

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — The number of Minnesotans infected with a sexually transmitted disease went up in 2007, as it has every year since 1996.

More than 17,000 people became infected with chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis in 2007. That’s a 3.8 percent increase over 2006.

Health experts say the main reasons are inadequate sex education, screening and treatment. They say the problem is compounded by some family doctors and pediatricians who are uncomfortable talking about sex to young patients at risk.

Last week, an effort fell apart at the Legislature to provide $1.3 million in state money for screening and public education. Experts say failure to do something virtually ensures that STD rates will continue to rise, especially among teenagers.

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