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Today is fourth annual statewide Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Testing Day

The Community Restoring Urban Youth Sexual Health (CRUSH) will hold its fourth annual Sexually Transmitted Infection Testing Day today. In addition to raising public awareness of the impact that sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have on youth in Minnesota, CRUSH aims, through STI Testing Day, to help youth and young adults take charge of their sexual health by increasing their access to free and low-cost sexual health education, testing and treatment.

CRUSH has organized the day as part of National STI Awareness Month in an effort to reduce the stigma of getting an STI test and to connect youth and young adults to clinics and preventive services near them. This observance hopes to reach sexually active youth ages 13-26 and connect them with clinics that provide STD/STI services in the Twin Cities metro area and Greater Minnesota.

Rates of all three reportable STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis) continue to rise at an alarming rate both nationally and in Minnesota. In 2017, 30,981 new STI cases were reported in Minnesota. The state saw a 10 percent increase in syphilis rates, a 28 percent increase in gonorrhea rates and a 4 percent increase in chlamydia rates compared to 2016. Overall, there was an 8 percent increase in the number of STI cases seen in Minnesota in 2017 compared to 2016. Of particular concern are significant increases in new cases of syphilis and gonorrhea in Minnesota last year.

Young people are disproportionately burdened by sexually transmitted infections, especially youth of color and American Indian youth, as well as young people from communities experiencing social, economic and health-related inequities. These youth are among the most vulnerable populations in Minnesota and experience significantly higher STI rates than other populations.

The elimination of these disparities and inequities is crucial to ensure a brighter future for Minnesota’s young people, CRUSH officials said. The CRUSH partnership works to raise awareness of this critical issue and improve the sexual health of young people in Minnesota’s most impacted communities. CRUSH is a partnership of youth-serving organizations, Youth Council members and community members formed in mid-2013 to address the increasing rates of chlamydia infections among youth and young adults.

In a proclamation marking this year's observance, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton called for all Minnesotans to strongly support National STI Awareness Month and to get involved with initiatives such as the statewide STI Testing Day to protect the sexual health of youth and young adults in rural and urban communities.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more information on STI Testing Day and to learn more about Minnesota’s rising STI rates, please visit https://www.facebook.com/crushsti/

 

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