Syphilis levels on the rise


April 28, 2023

Newly released 2022 data from the Minnesota Department of Health show rising levels of syphilis in Minnesota. Chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV/AIDS numbers show a slight decline during 2022 compared to the previous year but continue to impact thousands of Minnesotans.

Syphilis cases rose to 1,832 during 2022, a 25-percent increase from 1,457 cases in 2021 and hitting the highest level in recent years. New infections continued to be centered primarily within the Twin Cities metropolitan area, though health officials noted a syphilis outbreak declared in 2021 in the Duluth area continues.

Minnesota continues to address three ongoing outbreaks of HIV: one in Hennepin County, one in Ramsey County and one in the Duluth area.

New syphilis cases in 2022 were mostly among males, particularly among men who have sex with men.

Congenital syphilis occurs when a pregnant person with syphilis passes the infection on to their baby during pregnancy or at delivery. It can cause severe complications such as miscarriages and stillbirths. Infants born with congenital syphilis can suffer serious health problems, including deformed bones and organ problems.


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