2022 STD data shows many slight declines but bigger syphilis increase

New data released by the Minnesota Department of Health for sexually transmitted diseases in 2022 show a significant increase in syphilis cases and overall STD cases hovering at high levels.

MDH says that 1,832 syphilis cases were reported in 2022, marking a 25% increase from 2021 and a 440% increase from 10 years ago. Cases are at the highest they have been in a decade for both men and women.

MDH was especially concerned about a 42% rise in cases of congenital syphilis, in which a pregnant person passes the infection on to their baby during pregnancy or delivery, which can cause a variety of health complications for the child or even cause the pregnant person to have a miscarriage or stillbirth.

Syphilis can be tested for and treated during pregnancy, and MDH recommends more testing should be happening.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea remained the first and second most commonly reported STDs, but each saw a decrease in cases from the year prior of 2% and 16%, respectively.

The report states 262 Minnesotans were diagnosed with HIV in 2022, a decrease of 12% from the 298 cases in 2021. However, MDH says that more time is needed to determine the impact that COVID-19 had on HIV data for 2020 and 2021.

About two-thirds of the people newly diagnosed with HIV last year were from communities of color. One-third of cases were males between the ages of 13-24.

HIV cases in 2022 showed 10% fewer cases than in the previous decade, which saw an average of 291 cases per year.

HIV outbreaks have been ongoing in Hennepin and Ramsey counties since December 2018 and since fall 2022 in Duluth.

Overall, the state recorded 32,072 STD cases in 2022, down 5% from 33,706 cases in 2021.