ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- An alarming statistic in Minnesota is getting worse. State health officials say the number of sexually transmitted infections is at an all time high.
State health officials say it's only becoming more crucial that sexually active people learn how to help prevent STIs and get tested regularly. One in two sexually active people will get an STI by the time they're 25 years old.
Planned Parenthood offered free testing Monday on the campus of RCTC.
Lexi Grafe, a high school senior in Rochester explains, "Teenagers definitely are having sex and definitely are getting STIs."
Staggering statistics are proving testing for sexually transmitted infections is only becoming more important.
Ehyrn Barthelme of Planned Parenthood says, "We feel like withholding information isn't fair to anybody. If you have information and education about it then you can make choices that are healthier for you."
Students say they know many of their peers are engaging in risky behavior without accurate information.
Grafe says, "The majority of the info is coming from their friends and a little bit from health teachers but a lot is also coming from media ."
Chlamydia is the number one reported STI. Gonorrhea and syphilis are also common. Planned Parenthood believes educating young people about the reality is crucial.
Barthelme says, "Not only do kids wait longer to become sexually active but they limit the number of sexual partners that they're going to have because they're aware of what the consequences are."
Not seeking treatment can have devastating effects.
Planned Parenthood Physician Assistant Sarah Dodge explains, "Specifically with chlamydia and gonorrhea if those bacteria infections go untreated in women in particular they can cause complications such as pelvic pain and inflammation as well as problems with infertility down the road."
Some say far too many sexually active teens aren't going far enough when it comes to their health.
One RCTC students explains, "I think we have a long ways to go. There's a lot of stigma with it that people 'if I'm being tested it's an admittance to being sexually active and even unsafe.' Cause even people who do use protection are still at risk to an extent."
For more information on prevention and how to get tested, go to Planned Parenthood by clicking here.
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