BySarah Stoesz, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota |
Last week brought some very disturbing news from the Centers for Disease Control: there is a steep rise in the number of sexually active teens who are using the rhythm method as a primary method of birth control. As a “method,” it is highly unreliable, and, according to national experts, points to why the decline in teen pregnancy rates has stalled.
BySarah Stoesz, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota () |
This January, the Minnesota Department of Health released new figures indicating an alarming increase in HIV infections among young Minnesotans. The number of new HIV cases in the state increased by 13 percent in 2009, marking a 17-year high1. This news comes on the heels of annual increases in the rates of sexually transmitted infections (STI) over the past decade, a public health crisis for which the state of Minnesota must develop a strategic statewide solution.In fact, last April’s Minnesota STI Report showed the highest level of infections ever, with over 17,000 cases reported.The increase in HIV infection is a serious public health problem, and it is essential that Minnesota’s public health community is supported in its efforts to address these rising rates of HIV and STIs. The newly released HIV figures demonstrate, at a minimum, the need for a coordinated, comprehensive, statewide plan and education campaign that will improve the public health of all Minnesotans.The next report on STIs is slated to come out in a few weeks, and if past trends hold true, we expect yet another increase in the number of young people that have acquired an STI. It’s time for action and Planned Parenthood can’t do it alone.Planned Parenthood calls on the State of Minnesota to enact a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to reducing the state’s rising STI rates, including HIV infection. Continue Reading