Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

STIs on the rise across the nation and upper Midwest

The best way to prevent STIs is through testing, early treatment, and practicing safer sex


January 3, 2023

St. Paul, MN— Across the nation and upper Midwest, recent data shows that sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise. The CDC reported STIs continued to rise during the second year of the pandemic, which reflected data reported through July of 2022. Across the upper Midwest, there has been an uptick of cases in central Nebraska, a rise in syphilis cases especially among Native American communities in South Dakota, and an increase in STIs where abortion clinics have closed in Iowa.

"Sexually transmitted infections are often very stigmatized yet most are treatable, and all are preventable with knowledge about safe sex,” said Ruth Richardson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States. “We can help decrease the spread of STIs by encouraging testing and conversations about practicing safer sex. Planned Parenthood is proud to offer STI testing and treatment, and to provide comprehensive sex education across the upper Midwest.”

There are multiple ways to decrease the spread of STIs. The first tool is testing, which can identify infections early. It's recommended to test regularly, especially when sexual partners change. Practicing safer sex, such as using a barrier like a condom or internal dam, can also help decrease the spread of STIs.

"It’s important to make STI testing a regular part of health care,” said Dr. Traxler, Chief Medical Officer of Planned Parenthood North Central States. “Often, STIs don’t present with symptoms, so they can be near impossible to catch without testing. Once identified, most STIs are easy to treat. I want to encourage everyone to take care of themselves and their partners by testing regularly.”

Planned Parenthood North Central States (PPNCS) offers affordable STI testing at 28 health centers across the five-state region, as well as at home testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea through all telehealth locations. Additionally, PPNCS sex education efforts focus on facts without shame or stigma.

To make an appointment with Planned Parenthood North Central States, call 1-800-2302-75226 or make an appointment online at


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