Adolescent Health Collaborative Gateway - HIV/AIDS and STIs and Adolescent Health


Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Adolescent Health

Between 2004 and 2005 in Minnesota, the chlamydia rate increased by 5% and the gonorrhea rate increased by 18%. STD rates continued to be highest in the seven-county metropolitan area, particularly in the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Adolescents and young adults aged 15-24 years have the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea.

In Minnesota, laboratory-confirmed infections of chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and chancroid are monitored by the MDH. Other common sexually transmitted conditions caused by viral pathogens, such as herpes simplex virus (HSV) and human papillomavirus (HPV), are not reported to the MDH.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases or STDs, also referred to as sexually transmitted infections, do not refer to any one disease but include more than 25 infectious organisms that are transmitted through sexual activity and the dozens of clinical syndromes that they cause. STDs are almost always spread from person to person by sexual intercourse, most commonly by anal or vaginal intercourse. STDs are less often spread through oral sex. Some STDs, such as hepatitis B or HIV infection, are also transmitted through blood-to-blood contact through the sharing of needles or equipment to inject drugs, body pierce or tattoo. Pregnant women with STDs may pass their infections to infants during pregnancy or birth or through breast feeding.

This page serves as an inventory of all other documents available on the subject of STDs that the MDH has produced. Documents cover the topics of STD surveillance, STD basics and STD testing. This page will also allow access to individual fact sheets (available in English, Amharic, Oromo, Spanish, and Somali) for the most common STDs:

Genital Herpes (herpes simplex virus or HSV)
Genital Warts (human papillomavirus or HPV)
Gonorrhea (clap)
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV – the virus that causes AIDS)
Nongonococcal Urethritis (NGU)
Pubic Lice (crabs, pediculus pubis)
Scabies (mites)
Syphilis (syph, pox)
Vaginitis (yeast infection, trichomonas, bacterial vaginosis)

For more information about STDs in Minnesota, go to:

HIV/AIDS and Adolescent Health

In 1990, 10% of new HIV infections reported to the MDH were among youth. In 2005 this percentage was 17%. Among young men, the number of new HIV diagnoses peaked in 1992 at 46 cases and then declined through the mid 1990s to a low of 14 cases in 1997. Since 1997 the annual number of cases diagnosed among young men increased steadily to 28 in 2000, but then dropped to 18 cases in 2002. However, over the past four years that number has increased steadily from 18 cases in 2002 to 29 cases in 2005, a sixty-percent increase.

Unlike young men, the annual number of new HIV infections diagnosed among young women has remained relatively consistent over time. For example, 19 cases of HIV infection were diagnosed among young women in 1992 and 21 cases in 2005. Females accounted for 42% (21/50) of new HIV infections diagnosed among adolescents and young adults in 2005. In contrast, adult females (25 years of age or older) accounted for only 26% (67/254) of all adult cases. Additionally, young women accounted for 24% (21/88) of new infections among females, while young males accounted for 13% (29/216) of new infections among males.

Similar to the adult HIV/AIDS epidemic, persons of color account for a disproportionate number of new HIV infections among adolescents and young adults.

Many people are infected with HIV for years before they actually seek testing and become aware of their HIV status. This phenomenon especially affects the observed case counts for younger age groups. And as a result, the reported number of HIV infections among youth (with few or no reports of AIDS at first diagnosis) is likely to underestimate the true number of new infections occurring in the population more than the reported number of cases in older age groups does.

Minnesota Department of Health HIV/AIDS Home Page

The HIV/AIDS website serves as an inventory of all other documents available on the subject of HIV/AIDS that the MDH has produced. Documents cover the topics of HIV/AIDS surveillance, HIV basics, HIV testing, HIV community planning, and HIV and other diseases and conditions.

Additional Resources