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WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 07, 2012, 08:35 PM

STD cases are on the rise in Minnesota and North Dakota

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- A shocking one in every four teenage girls now has at least one sexually transmitted disease, according to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- A shocking one in every four teenage girls now has at least one sexually transmitted disease, according to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control.

North Dakotans and Minnesotans have seen huge jumps in chlamydia and gonorrhea infections, with nearly half of them coming from young people.

Fresonke: "it's a pandemic is what it is. It's the new pandemic"

It's called an STD, or sexually transmitted disease, and 25 percent of teen girls will get at least one before ever turning 20.

Busta: "It's awful that it's gotten that high"

Fresonke: "It's crazy to think that people before they even get into high school, even before they know what they're doing, are having sex.

Not only having sex, but never thinking of the consequences. Nearly 19 million new STD infections now occur each year. And they don't just target women.

Nelson: "Everyone who is sexually active, needs to be concerned about an STD"

Busta: "I've known a few people who have been worried that it could happen, and that turns out alright for them. But I know it's been a scary process for them to not know. "

What many don't know is how common the problem really is around here.

In North Dakota, 670 teens tested positive for chlamydia in 2011, up 30 from the year before, or an increase of about four and a half percent.

In Minnesota, that number jumps to more than 5 thousand- an increase of about 370 cases, or more than seven percent. But gonorrhea among young people is up even more.

Nelson: "twenty four percent, that's a huge increase. The state would call that an epidemic"

An epidemic that could lead to infertility, birth defects, and much more, as many go unnoticed. 80% of women don't have any symptoms.

Nelson: "people need to know partner's sexual history. They need to use condoms 100% of the time"

Busta: "People don't think it will happen to them, when it really is likely to happen to them"

So the best thing to do is get tested regularly, and treated quickly if necessary. Or abstain. Sexually active men and women should be tested at least once a year, as well as each time they switch partners.

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