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How Common are STDs in the US?

Studies show that sexually transmitted diseases are still being spread at an alarming rate all over the world. But how common are STDs in the United States? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), annual cases of STDs in the US continued to climb through 2019, bringing the country to an all-time high for the sixth year in a row. Infection rates vary depending on where you go in the country due to a number of factors, but the fact of the matter is, STDs are prevalent everywhere, making it essential to practice safe sex and get tested regularly.

STD Facts and Figures

STD Statistics in the US 

  • In 2018, there were 26 million new STD cases in the US. 
  • As of 2018, 1 in 5 people in the US have an STD (nearly 68 million infections).
  • Nearly 50% of all new STD infections occured in people aged 15-24 in 2018.
  • More than half of all people in the US will have an STD in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 2 sexually active people will have contracted an STD by age 25.
  • Almost everyone will get HPV in their lifetime, and over 42 million in the US are currently infected with an HPV type that causes disease. 
  • The CDC estimates that approximately 40 to 50 million adults in the US have genital herpes, but most people are unaware due to lack of symptoms, or symptoms mistaken for another skin condition. .
  • Around 1.2 million people in the US have HIV, and about 13% are unaware they’re positive.
  • It’s estimated that half of all gonorrhea infections are resistant to at least one antibiotic, making it more difficult to treat.

For more data on STDs in the United States: Check out our Comprehensive Guide on STD Statistics in the US

Most Common STDS

  • HPV – more than 14 million new cases each year.
  • Chlamydia – 1,579,885 new cases in 2020 
  • Trichomoniasis – more than 2 million new cases estimated in 2018.
  • Gonorrhea – 677,769 new cases in 2020 
  • Genital Herpes – Over 572,000 new infections in 2018
  • Syphilis – 133,945 new cases in 2020 (all stages) 
  • HIV – 36,801 newly diagnosed in 2019. 
  • HBV – roughly 3,000 newly reported cases each year

Top 5 States With the Lowest STD Rates

  • Vermont 
  • New Hampshire 
  • Maine 
  • Wyoming 
  • Wyoming

Top 5 States with the Highest STD Rates

  • Mississippi 
  • Louisiana 
  • Georgia 
  • New York 
  • Maryland 

Top 10 Cities With The Highest STD Rates  In the US

  • Jackson, MS 
  • Baltimore, MD 
  • San Francisco, CA 
  • Philadelphia, PA 
  • Washington, D.C. 
  • Augusta, GA 
  • New York, NY 
  • Montgomery, AL 
  • Knoxville, TN 
  • Fayetteville, NC 

Potential Causes of Increased STD Rates

Before looking at the numbers, it’s important to remember there are several factors at play that influence how common STDs are in any given area of the US. Even throughout the pandemic, STD rates continue to increase, but there appear to be simple explanations as to why. For those who continued seeing a physician, virtual visits meant that more diagnoses were missed. Labs and testing supplies were in short supply as the focus shifted to COVID-19. While these issues may no longer be as prevalent, one of the biggest issues that still contributes to increasing STD rates is lack of education and access to necessary sexual health clinics and resources. 

Don’t Add to the Numbers – Get Tested Today

For sexually active individuals, the best way to help prevent the spread of STDs is to get tested regularly and continue to practice safe sex. At Priority STD Testing, our goal is to ensure everyone has access to the education and resources they need to take control of their sexual health. We offer a variety of tests, whether you need to test for a specific STD or want to do a complete panel. The best part? Every test is convenient, confidential, and you get results within 24-72 hours.

 

*All facts and statistics are accurate as of September 21, 2022 using information available from various credible observational studies, estimates, and sources.