Updated: 02/14/2013 11:09 PM KSTP.com By: Tim Sherno
New statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show say there are 20 million new sexually transmitted infections in the United States each year, and it costs $16 billion dollars to treat them.
The Minnesota Department of Health reports young people between the ages of 15 and 24 account for most of the state's reported cases of Chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Augsburg Fairview Academy is a charter high school focused on medical careers. Jenny Andersen is a social worker at the school, she says student health is an important part of the school's message, "We take helping our kids be safe from sexually transmitted infections and from unwanted pregnancies really seriously."
The school uses a program from the CDC called "Get Yourself Tested" and provides condoms to students who request them. Andersen says the issue is more about safety than sex. According to Andersen, "Some of our students who go to school here didn't have that parental guidance giving them that at home and so we're happy to be safe adult resources for them to come to when they have questions and when they need answers and when they need education."
Minneapolis and Saint Paul schools don't provide condoms to students, but both have clinics in some school locations that can.