STD Surveillance Reports, 2015 - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Annual Summary: 2015 Minnesota Sexually Transmitted Disease Statistics

This report provides a comprehensive review of STD trends and current morbidity in Minnesota.

On this page:
Overall Summary
Sources of Data
Limitations of Data
Chlamydia
Gonorrhea
Syphilis
Chancroid
Summary Points
Data Tables

Overall Summary:

The 2015 Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Statistics include a summary of surveillance data for Minnesota’s reportable STDs: chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and chancroid. In Minnesota, STDs are the most commonly reported communicable diseases and account for nearly 70% of all notifiable diseases reported to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). In 2015 the number of reported bacterial STDs increased to 25,986 cases, representing an overall increase of 6% from the previous year. The change in incidence rates varied by disease, with chlamydia increasing by 7%, gonorrhea remaining at a stable incidence rate compared to 2014, and primary/secondary syphilis decreasing by 4%.

Data Tables:

List of tables included in this report:
Table 1. Number of Cases and Rates (per 100,000 persons) of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis (All Stages) and Chancroid — Minnesota, 2011-2015
Table 2a. Chlamydia: Number of Cases and Rates (per 100,000 persons) by Residence, Age, Race/Ethnicity and Gender — Minnesota, 2015
Table 2b. Gonorrhea: Number of Cases and Rates (per 100,000 persons) by Residence, Age, Race/Ethnicity and Gender — Minnesota, 2015
Table 2c. Primary/Secondary Syphilis:  Number of Cases and Rates (per 100,000 persons) by Residence, Age, Race/Ethnicity and Gender — Minnesota, 2015
Table 3. Number of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Cases and Rates (per 100,000 persons) by County — Minnesota, 2015

Sources of Data:

STD Case Reporting
Under state law (Minnesota Rule 4605.7040), both physicians and laboratories must report laboratory-confirmed infections of chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and chancroid to the MDH within one working day. Other common sexually transmitted conditions such as herpes simplex virus (HSV) and human papillomavirus (HPV) are not reported to the MDH. 

MDH Partner Services Program
All early syphilis cases, all gonorrhea/HIV co-infected cases (where the HIV was diagnosed in the last 12 months), and many untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea cases reported to the MDH are referred to the Partner Services Program to ensure treatment of patients and their sexual partners. Additional surveillance data is collected through this process including information on sexual behavior and drug use.

Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project (GISP)
As part of the national Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project (GISP) funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the MDH monitors antimicrobial susceptibilities of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. A Minneapolis STD clinic submits isolates on a monthly basis to the MDH. GISP also collects sociodemographic and behavioral data for each case. As of 2008, the MDH ceased routine susceptibility testing for GISP isolates, but still collaborates with the CDC to perform susceptibility testing.

STD Surveillance Network (SSuN)
As part of the national STD Surveillance Network (SSuN) funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the MDH randomly selects cases of gonorrhea to participate in a standardized interview.  By interviewing a random sample of cases extra information pertaining to gonorrhea risk can be analyzed to improve STD services in Minnesota.  When diagnosing a patient with a gonorrhea infection, providers should always inform their patients that the infection will be reported to the MDH.   However, now providers can also inform patients of the possibility of being contacted by MDH for an SSuN interview.

Limitations of Data:

Several factors impact the completeness and accuracy of the MDH’s STD surveillance data, including compliance with and completeness of case reporting among health care providers and laboratories. Clinically diagnosed cases, presumptively treated cases, and asymptomatic cases with no STD-related illnesses may be under-reported through the STD surveillance system. Furthermore, STD cases reported by laboratories lacking subsequent provider reporting were excluded from the STD surveillance database prior to 2012. The majority of laboratory reports originate from facilities that do not routinely collect demographic and clinical information required for STD surveillance. In 2002, the MDH implemented an active surveillance process whereby providers are reminded to submit demographic and clinical information missing from cases reported solely through laboratories. Additional factors affecting validity of the STD surveillance data include STD screening coverage, individual test-seeking behavior, and accuracy of diagnostic tests. Thus, changes in STD rates may be due to one or more of these factors or due to actual changes in the incidence of STDs in the population.

Population counts used to calculate incidence rates by residence (i.e., state, counties, Minneapolis, and Saint Paul), by age, by gender, and by race/ethnicity were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau. Incident rates (number of reported cases per 100,000 persons) were calculated using yearly case data and population counts from the decennial census. Population counts for 1991 to 1999 were estimated by interpolation between the 1990 and 2000 census data. Rates for 2015 were calculated using population counts from the 2010 Census, the most recent year for which counts by race, age, gender, and residence were available at the time of calculation and preparation. This 2015 data release includes rates calculated using population estimates for the calendar years between the 2000 and 2010 U.S. Censuses.

Chlamydia:

Chlamydia is the most commonly reported communicable disease in Minnesota. From an all-time low of 115 cases per 100,000 in 1996, the incidence of chlamydia has nearly quadrupled to 400 per 100,000 in 2015. Over these years, increases were seen across all gender, age and geographical groups. The rates have increased more than five times among men (54 to 271 per 100,000) and have tripled among females (175 to 528 per 100,000).  Among 30-39 year-olds, the incidence rate is over seven times higher in 2015 compared to 1996. Rates have nearly doubled among Blacks and Hispanics and almost tripled among Whites, American Indians, and Asian/Pacific Islanders.

In addition to an increase of disease in the population, other factors may have contributed to the increases seen during these years including increased reporting by providers, use of improved STD diagnostic tools, improved screening practices by clinicians, counting only lab reports as cases and the addition of an active surveillance component to the MDH’s STD surveillance system.

In 2015, the chlamydia rate increased by 7% overall and remained highest among women (528 per 100,000), Blacks (1,701 per 100,000), and 20-24 year-olds (2,336 per 100,000). The rates increased by 11% among males and 5% among females. Adolescents (15-19 year-olds) and young adults (20-24 year-olds) have the highest rates and comprise the majority of cases. Rates among males increased the most among those 40-44 years (24%), and rates among females increased the most among those 40-44 years (26%).

Across geographic areas, the city of Minneapolis had the highest incidence rate (1,124 per 100,000).  The city of Minneapolis had an increase of 13% in the chlamydia rate between 2014 and 2015; followed by the Suburban area (seven-county metro excluding the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul) (7%), Saint Paul (6%), and Greater Minnesota (3%).

Racial disparities in chlamydia continue to persist in Minnesota with the incidence rate among Blacks being nearly 9 times higher than the rate among Whites. Other racial/ethnic groups are disproportionately affected by chlamydia; incidence rates among American Indians, Asian/Pacific Islanders and Hispanics were 4.4, 1.8, and 2.7 times the rate among Whites, respectively.

Gonorrhea:

In 2015, the gonorrhea rate remained stable at 77 per 100,000 compared to 2014.  The rates had previously increased in 2011 for the first time since 2007. From 2004 to 2015, the incidence of gonorrhea in Minnesota increased from 58 to 77 per 100,000 persons (33%). However, as with chlamydia, the incidence of infection was higher among some segments of the population compared to others.  Rates during the past decade have increased by 56% among males and have remained relatively stable among females. The rates have increased among American Indians (131%), Whites (132%), and Asian/Pacific Islanders (100%) but decreased among Blacks (55%) while rates among Hispanics have remained relatively stable. However, Blacks continue to have gonorrhea incidence rates far higher than other race groups.

The emergence of quinolone-resistant Neisseria Gonorrhea (QRNG) in recent years has become a particular concern. Due to the high prevalence of QRNG in Minnesota as well as nationwide, quinolones are no longer recommended for the treatment of gonococcal infections. Additionally, the CDC changed the treatment guidelines for gonococcal infections in August of 2012. CDC no longer recommends Cefixime at any dose as a first-line regimen for treatment of gonococcal infections. If Cefixime is used as an alternative agent, then the patient should return in one week for a test-of-cure at the site of infection.

In 2015 the incidence rate of gonorrhea remained stable at 77 per 100,000. Males had a higher gonorrhea rate than females (92 per 100,000 vs 63 per 100,000). As with chlamydia, gonorrhea rates were highest among Blacks (531 per 100,000) and 20-24 year-olds (352 per 100,000). Adolescents and young adults continue to account for a disproportionate amount (47%) of all gonorrhea cases.

The Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul accounted for the highest rates of infection (376 and 230 cases per 100,000 persons, respectively).  The only area of Minnesota to see an increase in gonorrhea cases from 2014 to 2015 was the Greater Minnesota area with a 15% increase in cases.  Reported cases in Minneapolis remained stable compared to 2014 with only a small 0.01% decrease in 2015 cases.  All other areas of Minnesota reported a decrease in cases.  Reported cases in Saint Paul and the Suburban area (seven-county metro excluding the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul) decreased by 3% and 4% respectively.

Compared to chlamydia, greater racial disparities in gonorrhea infections continue to persist in Minnesota with an incidence rate among Blacks being 16 times higher than the rate among Whites. These racial disparities are also evident among American Indians and Hispanics, whose rates are 6.6 and 2.4 times those of Whites.

Syphilis:

Incidence rates of primary/secondary syphilis in Minnesota remained stable from 1998 until 2002 when an outbreak was observed among men who have sex with men (MSM) and the overall rate increased from 0.2 to 1.2 per 100,000 persons. Since 2002, primary/secondary syphilis rates have fluctuated but remained elevated. In addition, the number of early syphilis cases (primary, secondary, and early latent stages) increased from 49 in 2004 to 431 in 2015, with MSM accounting for 65% of all cases among males in 2015. The disparity in early syphilis rates between males and females has remained large and reflects the greater burden within the MSM community; however the rates among females have continued to increase over the past two years. With the increasing rates among females, specifically females of child-bearing age, there were three cases of congenital syphilis reported in 2015.

In 2015, the overall incidence rate of primary/secondary syphilis decreased from 4.8 to 4.6 cases per 100,000 persons compared to 2014. The number of cases among males decreased from 235 in 2014 to 207 in 2015 while among females, the number increased from 21 to 39. Increases in cases, compared to 2014, were only observed across the Greater Minnesota area; however the city of Minneapolis remains to account for the majority of cases (52%).

The incidence of primary/secondary syphilis infection increased in age groups; 10-14 (0.3%), 30-39 (2%) and 40-49 (29%).  However, the incidence of primary/secondary syphilis decreased by 60% for the 20-24 age category.

Whites comprised the majority (57%) of cases in 2015, while American Indians saw an increase of primary/secondary syphilis rates of 300% from 2014 to 2015. Also, Blacks comprised 33% of all primary/secondary syphilis cases in 2015 and have a rate of primary/secondary syphilis that is 9.5 times higher than the rate among Whites.

The number of early syphilis cases increased in 2015 (431 versus 416 in 2014). The number of cases among women increased from 41 cases in 2014 to 88 cases in 2015. Early syphilis cases among men decreased from 374 to 341 (9%). Of all early syphilis cases reported in 2015, 80% were among males and 65% of these were MSM. Of the MSM early syphilis cases 56% were co-infected with HIV.

Chancroid:

Chancroid remains extremely rare in Minnesota. The last case reported in Minnesota was in 1999.

Summary Points:

  • Over the past decade (2005-2015), Minnesota’s chlamydia rates showed an overall increase of 61% while the rate of gonorrhea has fluctuated but has shown an overall increase of 8%. Rates of primary/secondary syphilis have increased 246%. Minnesota has seen a resurgence in syphilis since 2002, with men who have sex with men being especially impacted. The co-infection rate with HIV continues to remain high.  Racial disparities in STDs continue to persist in Minnesota with communities of color having the highest rates.
  • Between 2014 and 2015, the chlamydia incidence rate increased by 7%, while the gonorrhea rate remained stable. Cases of primary/secondary syphilis decreased by 4%.
  • In 2015, incidence rates of chlamydia increased by 11% among males and 5% among females; gonorrhea increased by 7% among males and decreased 7% among females.
  • STD rates continued to be highest in the city of Minneapolis. However, the Twin Cities suburbs and Greater Minnesota accounted for a large percentage of STD cases.
  • Adolescents and young adults (ages 15-24) accounted for 64% of chlamydia and 47% of gonorrhea cases reported in 2015.
  • In 2015, men who have sex with men account for 65% of all male early syphilis cases, and rates of primary/secondary syphilis increased 300% among American Indians.

Data Tables

Table 1. Number of Cases and Rates (per 100,000 persons) of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis
(All Stages) and Chancroid — Minnesota, 2011-2015

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Disease Cases Rate Cases Rate Cases Rate Cases Rate Cases Rate
Chlamydia 16,898 319 18,048 340 18,724 353 19,897 375 21,238 400
Gonorrhea 2,283 43 3,082 58 3,872 73 4,073 77 4,097 77
All Stages of Syphilis 366 6.9 335 6.3 537 10.1 629 11.9 654 12.3
~ Primary/Secondary Syphilis 139 2.6 118 2.2 193 3.6 257 4.8 246 4.6
~ Early Latent Syphilis 121 2.3 96 1.8 139 2.6 159 3.0 185 3.5
~ Late Latent Syphilis 106 2.0 120 2.3 205 3.9 213 4.0 220 4.1
~ Congenital Syphilis (I) 0 0.0 1 1.5 0 0.0 0 0.0 3 4.3
Chancroid 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
NOTE: Data exclude cases diagnosed in federal or private correctional facilities;
U.S. Census Intercensal and U.S. 2010 data is used to calculate rates.
(I) Congenital syphilis rate per 100,000 live births.

Table 2a. Chlamydia: Number of Cases and Rates (per 100,000 persons) by Residence, Age, Race/Ethnicity and Gender — Minnesota, 2015
  Chlamydia
Males Females Total (I)
Group Case % Case % Case % Rate
Residence (II)
Minneapolis 1,887 26% 2,411 17% 4,302 20% 1,124
St. Paul 826 12% 1,646 12% 2,473 12% 868
Suburban (III) 2,163 30% 4,599 33% 6,763 32% 310
Greater Minnesota 1,831 26% 4,760 34% 6,593 31% 269
Unknown 415 6% 691 5% 1,107 5% x
Age
< 15 yrs 9 0% 140 1% 149 1% 14
15-19 yrs 1,057 15% 4,102 29% 5,160 24% 1,403
20-24 yrs 2,561 36% 5,745 41% 8,309 39% 2,336
25-29 yrs 1,621 23% 2,328 17% 3,953 19% 1,061
30-34 yrs 854 12% 1,005 7% 1,859 9% 542
35-39 yrs 407 6% 429 3% 837 4% 255
40-44 yrs 266 4% 192 1% 458 2% 130
45-49 yrs 147 2% 88 1% 235 1% 58
50-54 yrs 107 2% 58 0% 165 1% 41
55+ yrs 93 1% 20 0% 113 1% 9
Race/Ethnicity
White 2,823 40% 5,874 42% 8,701 41% 192
Black 1,846 26% 2,819 20% 4,667 22% 1,701
American Indian 133 2% 426 3% 559 3% 918
Asian/PI 198 3% 540 4% 738 3% 341
Other (IV) (V) 180 3% 405 3% 585 3% x
Unknown (V) 1,942 27% 4,043 29% 5,988 28% x
Hispanic (VI) 395 6% 875 6% 1,270 6% 507
TOTAL 7,122   14,107   21,238   400

NOTE: Data exclude cases diagnosed in federal or private correctional facilities;
U.S. Census 2010 data is used to calculate rates.
(I) Total includes 9 cases of chlamydia diagnosed in transgendered persons, 4 (female to male) and 5 (male to female)
(II) Residence missing for 1,107 cases of chlamydia.
(III) Suburban is defined as the seven-county metropolitan area (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington Counties, excluding the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul)
(IV) Includes persons reported with more than one race.
(V) No comparable population data available to calculate rates.
(VII) Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.


Table 2b. Number of Cases and Rates (per 100,000 persons) of Gonorrhea by Residence, Age, Race/Ethnicity and Gender — Minnesota, 2015
  Gonorrhea
Males Females Total (I)
Group Case % Case % Case % Rate
Residence (II)
Minneapolis 1,025 42% 412 25% 1,438 35% 376
St. Paul 347 14% 310 19% 657 16% 230
Suburban (III) 625 26% 445 27% 1,071 26% 49
Greater Minnesota 341 14% 451 27% 792 19% 32
Unknown 82 3% 57 3% 139 3% x
Age
< 15 yrs 2 0% 22 1% 24 1% 2
15-19 yrs 210 9% 430 26% 640 16% 174
20-24 yrs 676 28% 574 34% 1,251 31% 352
25-29 yrs 561 23% 324 19% 886 22% 238
30-34 yrs 332 14% 177 11% 509 12% 148
35-39 yrs 236 10% 83 5% 319 8% 97
40-44 yrs 137 6% 27 2% 164 4% 46
45-49 yrs 120 5% 18 1% 138 3% 34
50-54 yrs 93 4% 14 1% 107 3% 27
55+ yrs 53 2% 6 0% 59 1% 4
Race/Ethnicity
White 1,042 43% 486 29% 1,529 37% 34
Black 802 33% 653 39% 1,456 36% 531
American Indian 45 2% 102 6% 147 4% 241
Asian/PI 63 3% 34 2% 97 2% 45
Other (IV)(V) 70 3% 26 2% 96 2% x
Unknown (V) 290 12% 251 15% 541 13% x
Hispanic (VI) 146 6% 56 3% 202 5% 81
TOTAL 2,420   1,675   4,097   77
NOTE: Data exclude cases diagnosed in federal or private correctional facilities;
U.S. Census 2010 data is used to calculate rates.
(I) Total includes 2 cases of gonorrhea diagnosed in transgendered persons 1 (male to female), 1 (female to male).
(II) Residence missing for 139 cases of gonorrhea.
(III) Suburban is defined as the seven-county metropolitan area (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington Counties, excluding the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul).
(IV) Includes persons reported with more than one race.
(V) No comparable population data available to calculate rates.
(VI) Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.

Table 2c. Number of Cases and Rates (per 100,000 persons) of Primary/Secondary Syphilis by Residence, Age, Race/Ethnicity and Gender -- Minnesota, 2015
  Primary & Secondary (P&S) Syphilis
  Males Females Total (I)
Group Case % Case % Case % Rate
Residence
Minneapolis 109 53% 20 51% 129 52% 33.7
St. Paul 18 9% 5 13% 23 9% 8.1
Suburban (II) 57 28% 11 28% 68 28% 3.1
Greater Minnesota 23 11% 3 8% 19 8% 0.8
Age
< 15 yrs 0 0% 1 3% 1 0% 0.1
15-19 yrs 5 2% 5 13% 10 4% 2.7
20-24 yrs 20 10% 1 3% 21 9% 5.9
25-29 yrs 41 20% 9 23% 50 20% 13.4
30-34 yrs 28 14% 5 13% 33 13% 9.6
35-39 yrs 26 13% 5 13% 31 13% 9.4
40-44 yrs 26 13% 6 15% 32 13% 9.1
45-49 yrs 18 9% 3 8% 21 9% 5.2
50-54 yrs 21 10% 0 0% 21 9% 5.2
55+ yrs 22 11% 4 10% 26 11% 2.0
Race/Ethnicity
White 127 61% 12 31% 139 57% 3.1
Black 62 30% 18 46% 80 33% 29.2
American Indian 3 1% 5 13% 8 3% 13.1
Asian/PI 5 2% 2 5% 7 3% 3.2
Other (III)(IV) 3 1% 1 3% 4 2% x
Unknown 7 3% 1 3% 8 3% x
Hispanic (V) 28 14% 2 5% 30 12% 12.0
TOTAL 207   39   246   4.6

NOTE: Data exclude cases diagnosed in federal or private correctional facilities;
U.S. Census 2010 data is used to calculate rates.
(I) Total includes 2 cases of primary/secondary syphilis diagnosed in transgendered persons (male to female).
(II) Suburban is defined as the seven-county metropolitan area (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington Counties, excluding the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul).
(III) Includes persons reported with more than one race.
(IV) No comparable population data available to calculate rates.
(V) Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.


Table 3. Number of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Cases and Rates (I) (per 100,000 persons) by County of Residence -- Minnesota, 2015
 
Chlamydia
Gonorrhea
 
Chlamydia
Gonorrhea
County
Cases
Rate Cases
Rate
County
Cases
Rate
Cases
Rate
Aitkin 17 105 5 31 Marshall 13 138 1 -
Anoka 1,079 326 154 47 Martin 48 230 1 -
Becker 68 209 11 34 Meeker 47 202 3 -
Beltrami 213 479 27 61 Mille Lacs 49 188 8 31
Benton 140 364 22 57 Morrison 47 142 1 -
Big Stone 9 171 0 - Mower 117 299 21 54
Blue Earth 304 475 26 41 Murray 8 92 1 -
Brown 57 220 2 - Nicollet 79 241 7 21
Carlton 91 257 11 31 Nobles 74 346 13 61
Carver 185 203 14 15 Norman 11 161 0 -
Cass 109 382 26 91 Olmsted 575 399 100 69
Chippewa 22 177 2 - Otter Tail 74 129 15 26
Chisago 136 252 13 24 Pennington 42 302 2 -
Clay 262 444 37 63 Pine 70 235 8 27
Clearwater 14 161 3 - Pipestone 12 125 0 -
Cook 5 97 3 - Polk 85 269 12 38
Cottonwood 20 171 4 - Pope 12 109 0 -
Crow Wing 137 219 18 29 Ramsey 2,995 589 731 144
Dakota 1,343 337 156 39 Red Lake 6 147 1 -
Dodge 29 144 3 - Redwood 14 87 0 -
Douglas 67 186 1 - Renville 19 121 0 -
Faribault 29 199 0 - Rice 150 234 12 19
Fillmore 38 182 2 - Rock 14 145 0 -
Freeborn 89 285 7 22 Roseau 29 186 2 -
Goodhue 99 214 18 39 St. Louis 741 370 92 46
Grant 12 199 1 - Scott 351 270 41 32
Hennepin 7,016 609 2,008 174 Sherburne 226 255 34 38
Houston 8 42 1 - Sibley 26 171 2 -
Hubbard 52 255 2 - Stearns 529 351 89 59
Isanti 75 198 11 29 Steele 108 295 10 27
Itasca 109 242 18 40 Stevens 14 144 1 -
Jackson 19 185 1 - Swift 8 82 0 -
Kanabec 41 252 4 - Todd 40 161 2 -
Kandiyohi 84 199 0 - Traverse 4 - 0 -
Kittson 3 - 0 - Wabasha 56 258 4 -
Koochiching 19 143 1 - Wadena 13 94 0 -
Lac qui Parle 7 96 0 - Waseca 51 267 5 26
Lake 10 92 0 - Washington 565 237 62 26
Lake of the Woods 4 - 0 - Watonwan 43 384 1 -
Le Sueur 53 191 3 - Wilkin 5 76 3 -
Lincoln 9 153 0 - Winona 201 391 7 14
Lyon 34 131 1 - Wright 289 232 27 22
McLeod 86 235 4 - Yellow Medicine 17 163 1 -
Mahnomen 47 868 18 333        
NOTE: Data exclude cases diagnosed in federal or private correctional facilities.
County data missing for 1,111 chlamydia cases and 139 gonorrhea cases.
(I) Rates not calculated for counties with fewer than 5 cases.
U.S. Census 2010 data is used to calculate rates.

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