Although sex is a natural and normal part of life, this doesn’t mean it’s always safe. Just like other infections or diseases, STDs and STIs are present in today’s society. Staying safe should be your number-one priority, as one exciting but unprotected encounter could lead to a lifetime of hospital visits and medications.
Knowing the right data will help you be more prepared for the dangers in different environments. There’s no such thing as being too safe when it comes to STDs, so stay informed, educated, and up to date with the latest information.
Top Ten STD Statistics
- Every day worldwide, another 1 million people develop an STI.
- Mississippi has the highest STD index score (0.83).
- Male circumcision may reduce the risk of acquiring HIV by 60%.
- Gonorrhea rates for adolescent boys aged 15–19 were 220.9 per 100,000 male respondents.
- Around 1 million pregnant women suffer from syphilis.
- 50% of commercial sex workers may suffer from gonorrhea.
- There were 434,456 cases of STIs in the UK in 2015.
- Most STDs don’t have any easily noticed symptoms.
- Syphilis and herpes type 2 can increase the risk of acquiring HIV.
- STD rates were highest in 2018.
General STD Statistics to Keep in Mind
People usually believe that SDI is something that happens to other people. We hate to break it to you but if you’re having sex you have a 50% chance to acquire it before you’re 25.
To avoid this, read more about this and other key information you should know if you’re sexually active.
1. 50% of all sexually active individuals contract an STD by the age of 25.
Around half of all sexually active people will most likely get an STD before they turn 25. In fact, half of new STI cases, HIV included, occur within this age group.
2. Men who have sex with men represented 83% of primary and secondary syphilis cases.
Men who identify as gay, bisexual, or other but engage in sex with men are at a higher risk of acquiring syphilis. The same risk group is more prone to acquiring other STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HPV.
3. HIV statistics say that male circumcision may reduce the risk of acquiring the infection by 60%.
Along with having the potential to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV, circumcision can also provide protection against herpes and HPV among other common STIs. When it comes to women, tenofovir gel showed inconclusive results in preventing HIV but has proven to be somewhat effective against herpes type 2. In both cases, it’s used as a vaginal microbicide.
4. Syphilis and herpes type 2 can increase the risk of acquiring HIV, according to the AIDS statistics.
Even though herpes type 2 and syphilis are manageable in varying degrees, they can increase the risk of contracting HIV. This points to the fact that there need to be more STD prevention programs so as to minimize the risk of further infection.
5. US STD rates were highest in 2018.
Due to less frequent use of condoms among young people and various STD programs being cut, the STD statistics from 2018 point to the highest rates so far.
6. Currently, only one antibiotic against gonorrhea is effective.
Even though gonorrhea can be treated with antibiotics, the resistance rates to different treatments are skyrocketing in and outside of the US. The fact that only ceftriaxone is still effective against this STD is what makes it one of the most problematic diseases today.
7. Lifetime treatment for the eight most common STDs costs US $15.6 billion yearly.
According to the CDC, the STD statistics have shown the relatively big economic strain these diseases and infections have on the healthcare system in the US. This is due to the fact that some STIs require lifelong treatment, which costs a lot.
HIV and HPV are the two most common diseases requiring ongoing treatment. We can expect lifelong treatment of HIV to be expensive, but the reasoning behind the cost of HPV isn’t so obvious considering that the immune system fights off most strains of the infection within two years.
The statistics on this STD, however, show that we need to take into account HPV-associated cancers, which require lifelong treatment.
8. Most STDs don’t have any easily noticed symptoms.
Just because there’s an absence of symptoms after unprotected intercourse doesn’t mean that you have not contracted an STI. According to data from the CDC, most STDs don’t even have obvious symptoms.
STD Statistics by State
America is complex and diverse in all matters, STDs not being any different. If you live in the US, here is what you should know about the prevalence of STDs in your state.
9. Mississippi has the highest STD index score (0.83).
A high STD index score demonstrates how likely you are to contract an STD in each US state, and Mississippi is definitely one to watch out for. Nevada comes in second place with an index score of 0.81, and Louisiana is third with a score of 0.75.
10. Alaska has the highest rate of chlamydia infections.
The STD rates by the state indicate that 832.5 people per 100,000 suffer from chlamydia in Alaska, making it the state with the highest rate. Louisiana is right behind it with 774.8 per 100,000, and Mississippi is in third place with 740.1.
In comparison, West Virginia has the lowest chlamydia infection rate, with 198.2 per 100,000. Vermont takes second place among the least infected with 274.5, while New Hampshire isn’t too far behind with 278.1 per 100,000 people suffering from this infection.
11. Only 43 per 100,000 people suffer from gonorrhea in Vermont.
Gonorrhea is another infection caused by bacteria, and according to US STD stats, Vermont is the number-one state with the fewest infected people. We have New Hampshire in second place with 44.2 people per 100,000, and Maine with 53.1 in third place.
On the other side of the scale, Mississippi takes the lead as the most infected state with 326.7 people suffering from gonorrhea per 100,000. Alaska is second this time (303.7 per 100,000), and South Carolina comes in third with 274.7 people.
12. Nevada is in the lead for the third most commonly reported STD, syphilis, with 22.7 per 100,000 people suffering from it.
Even though syphilis is the least common STD of the three most commonly reported, it can still be quite serious. According to STD stats by state, California is right behind Nevada with 19.2 cases per 100,000 people.
Mississippi is in the top three highest-rated states with infected people, this time with a rate of 15.5. Meanwhile, Vermont only has 1.8 per 100,000 people who suffer from syphilis, while Connecticut and Wisconsin are right behind with a rate of 2.5 and 2.6 infected people, respectively.
13. Recent STD statistics indicate that chlamydia is the most common STD in the United States.
Chlamydia has the highest contraction rate in the US, making it the most common STD. In fact, the number of reported cases between the years 2000 and 2016 has doubled.
According to the same reports, women suffer from chlamydia more often than men. The disease also has more prevalence among young adults and teenagers.
STD Statistics Worldwide
Now that we’ve covered America, let’s see what goes on in the rest of the world. Most of these stats are informative, but some of them are quite alarming, so pay closer attention.
14. Every day worldwide, another 1 million people develop an STI.
According to the World Health Organization, this might have something to do with the more than 30 different parasites, viruses, and bacteria that can be transmitted through sexual contact.
15. Nearly 1 million pregnant women suffer from syphilis.
According to the same data from 2016, 200,000 births ended in stillbirth or neonatal birth due to the diseases the mother carried. The risk factors for babies whose mothers suffer from an STI or STD don’t stop there.
The STD stats for pregnant women show that their babies are also at risk for low birth weight, prematurity, pneumonia, neonatal conjunctivitis, congenital deformities, and sepsis.
16. 50% of commercial sex workers may suffer from gonorrhea.
Sex workers in developing countries are at a much higher risk of acquiring STDs. Aside from half of them reporting they suffer from gonorrhea, chlamydia is present in 25% of this risk group. When it comes to Syphilis, the numbers range from 23% to 32% for acute and previous infections.
17. Oxford Academic’s STDs fact sheet shows 60% of men with chancroid or gonorrhea having acquired them as a result of being exposed to commercial sex.
It’s true, prostitution is the driving force behind these STDs and HIV in developing countries. Among pregnant women, the prevalence of these diseases can reach as high as 20%, particularly in Africa.
18. There were 434,456 cases of STIs in the UK in 2015.
These STD statistics from 2015 show a significant decrease from the previous year when there were 449,642 reported cases of STIs. Geography has a significant influence on the distribution of STDs, with rates being highest in urban areas like London. This can point to the distribution of risk groups and higher-deprivation areas.
19. Gay men may experience large increases in reported STD cases.
The UK noted that there were disproportionate increases in diagnoses among men who have sex with men in 2015. These LGBT STD statistics are notable, with gonorrhea and syphilis showing a 21% and 19% increase respectively.
20. 28,113 STDs were found among the UK’s older population (45–64).
Even though young people are more likely to get diagnosed with STIs (15–24-year-olds account for the majority of those infected with gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis), older age groups aren’t invincible. This may have something to do with the fact that older people are potentially less likely to engage with sexual health messaging and safer sex.
STD Statistics by Age and Gender
We covered the stats on chances of contracting an STD and the number of people dealing with it. Now is the time too break these numbers down and learn a bit more about the demographics of patients with STD.
21. The rates of chlamydia for men aged between 15 and 19 decreased by 9% between 2011 and 2013.
In 2011, the number of positive chlamydia cases in the above-mentioned age group was 785.8 per 100,000. These numbers dropped to 715.2 cases per 100,000 males in 2013.
22. Men between 20 and 24 had the highest chlamydia rate in 2013.
According to the CDC, STD rates for chlamydia among the younger age group may have dropped between 2011 and 2013. Nevertheless, they remained stable for men aged between 20 and 24, with 1,325.6 cases per 100,000 males.
23. Women between 20 and 24 had the highest chlamydia rate in the same year.
Even though men aged between 20 and 24 had high chlamydia rates for 2013, the number of positive cases among women was triple theirs, with 3,621.1 cases per 100,000 females.
The STI statistics and rates among women in this age range might have been stable in the years 2012 and 2013, but the number of reported chlamydia cases increased among the 23- and 24-year-old females in this group.
24. Women aged between 15 and 19 experienced a decrease in cases of chlamydia: 8.7%.
In 2012, there were 3,331.7 positive chlamydia cases per 100,000 young females reported. The following year, the number dropped to 3,043.3 per 100,000 women. The most significant drops in reported rates were among 15–17-year-olds, according to STD statistics by age.
25. Gonorrhea rates for adolescent boys aged 15–19 were 220.9 per 100,000 male respondents.
This data represents an 8.9% decrease in adolescent boys who reported they had gonorrhea for the years 2012 and 2013.
26. Adolescent girls in the same age group had the second highest rates of gonorrhea.
There were 459.2 positive cases for gonorrhea per 100,000 adolescent females, which is a lot compared to other females. The same teenage STD statistics show that this age group experienced a significant decrease of 12.9% between the years of 2012 and 2013, though.
27. Young men aged between 20 and 24 also had the highest gonorrhea rates: 458.4 per 100,000 males.
The situation for gonorrhea is similar to that of chlamydia among this age group, with men between 20 and 24 having the highest rates compared to other males. In fact, these rates even increased by 1.3% between 2012 and 2013.
28. According to the CDC, STD stats for women in the same 20–24 age group also had the highest gonorrhea rates for their gender.
The highest rates of 541.6 cases per 100,000 females were recorded in this group, but the rates decreased by 4.7% from 2012 to 2013.
29. Around a quarter of HIV infections occur among people aged 13 to 24.
26% of new HIV cases fall within this age range. STDs are more prevalent among young people, with this age group making up to 50% of all new STD cases, overall.
30. According to the STD stats by age, older female students are 92% less likely to get infected by chlamydia than younger female students.
The disparity in infections between older and younger female students is notable. Chlamydia infection rates generally differ from generation to generation, but this is one of the most significant differences out there.
31. A third of college students in developing countries don’t know about any other STDs aside from AIDS.
Most third world country students (99%) show knowledge of the existence of AIDS and HIV. However, among students in college, the STD statistics by NCBI indicate that only a third of those who partook in the study had heard about other STDs.
32. 9.7% of US students report having a chlamydia infection.
According to research, one in 10 students are positive for chlamydia. On top of that, adolescents under 20 are more likely to have chlamydia than older students, according to the research.
What is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the world?
Even though the average person barely knows anything about HPV, it’s the most common sexually transmitted disease in the world. There are more than 600 million cases, with 20 million of those being in the US. This virus is most present in young adults, with more than half being women in new relationships.
The rates are high because the virus often doesn’t show any symptoms, so most people don’t even know they’re infected. On top of that, a healthy immune system can potentially fight off the infection within two years.
What are the top 3 STDs in the US?
According to data from 2018 by the CDC, there were 2,457,118 combined reported cases total. The most common STDs in these numbers were chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in all stages.
Specifically, there were 1,758,668 cases of chlamydia, 583,405 cases of gonorrhea, and 11,045 cases of syphilis in the US.
Is herpes curable?
(Medical News Today)
Despite the disease being incurable, there is the medication for herpes, and there are several home remedies you can use to alleviate your symptoms. Some of them include taking painkillers, soaking in a warm sitz bath, or soaking in a lightly salted bath.
When it comes to medication, doctors can prescribe antivirals that prevent the virus from multiplying. As it’s rare for recurring symptoms to be more than just mild, it’s not necessary to treat them. The medication simply helps the outbreak clear up faster.
What age group has the highest rate of STDs?
Young people aged between 15 and 24 make up 50% of carriers of all new STIs. They have a higher risk of getting infected due to various biological, cultural, and behavioral factors. For example, girls in this age group may be more susceptible to acquiring an STD because of cervical ectopy.
Whatever you think about sex, and regardless of how often you encounter sexual situations, knowing STD statistics like these will help you be more mindful of your environment. STDs are often hard and expensive to treat, so prevention is by far the best way to stay safe.
Whether it’s about the US or the rest of the world, this knowledge will help you understand the dynamics of the environment you’re in and maybe even point to some factors, opinions, and lifestyle choices behind the statistics.
- American Sexual Health Association
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Reported STDs
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2013
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2017
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – College Health and Safety
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Gay and Bisexual Men’s Health
- Family Planning Association
- Live Science
- Medical News Today
- National Center for Biotechnology Information
- STD journal
- The Hill
- World Health Organization