The land of the STD

If you write a blog long enough, eventually you find yourself writing the same thing again and again.

Today’s report from the Department of Public Health, showing Minnesota is fertile ground for sexually transmitted disease, is a perfect example.

The issue, for reasons I have never been able to figure out, is utterly incapable of shocking Minnesotans to the point where some significant step is taken that changes things.

And yet, the statistical nuggets in these reports are shocking, and often tend to challenge who we might think are the people involved..

In 2008, for example, data showed one in four American girls had a sexually transmitted disease.

Last year, we learned 63% of the cases of chlamydia occurred in suburbanites or in people in outstate Minnesota.

This year we found out that the rate of suburban sexually transmitted disease is up 15%. And men who have sex with men account for 88% of all male early syphilis cases.

  • Jim Shapiro

    This calls for a soundtrack by Boiled in Lead!

    In April when your barge sailed through

    I fell in love with you

    Alas my paramour alack

    A stranger to me ’til the test comes back

    Chorus:

    Oh the micro-organism

    Oh the micro-organism

    Dive in the gene pool down you swim

    Down to where the light grows thin

    Flail little fishies flail if you can

    But avoid the micro-organism man

    Chorus

    Caffeine sugar and THC

    Is all that the doctors are gonna find in me

    When they do the autopsy

    The micro-organism won’t get me

    Chorus

    God is good and God is great

    God’s a big invertebrate

    God made the river change it’s route

    But he won’t pull the micro-organism out

    Chorus

    The cowslips bloom and the bluebells too

    Here’s advice I’ll give to you

    Rattle your sword before you strike

    And never kiss anyone you like

    Chorus

  • allie

    I suspect it was a rhetorical question, but: STDs are tied to sex, which is tied to all sorts of ‘morality’-based policymaking, which is why everyone’s afraid to touch reports like this with a ten-foot pole.

    Reports like these invigorate those of us working in public health–those of us already ‘drinking the Kool-Aid,’ so to speak, who know the importance of sound, evidence-based policies related to STDs–until we realize that the only folks willing to make a stink about high STD rates are are the ones likely to be up in arms about our ‘sexually promiscuous’ youth, who want to start limiting information on safe sex rather than sharing it.

    Those people over there aren’t the ones with the kids spreading STDs–it’s OUR kids, OUR kids’ friends, the kids at OUR church, and OUR neighbors’ kids. The sooner we’re honest with ourselves that kids have figured out sex (!), the sooner we can help them protect themselves against STDs.

  • bsimon

    Are the suburbs becoming more frisky?