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By: RSC Editorial Team

January 5, 2022

STD Statistics: What Stands Out From 2021

Early in 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the latest sexually transmitted disease (STD) report for 2019. The study highlights the United States’ sixth consecutive record-breaking STD spike. 

Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis remain the most prevalent STD infections. The reports show that these infections increase by 30% every year. While a few states’ STD rates declined, the overall prevalence of sexual diseases remains alarming. 

Based on the CDC’s report, each year witnesses over 20 million new STD cases in the U.S. At Rapid STD Testing, we gathered the latest STD statistics and categorized the data to improve nationwide awareness.

Most Notable Statistics

CDC Trends in the U.S. (2019)

About two decades ago, syphilis almost disappeared, while gonorrhea cases dipped to historic lows. However, the CDC’s Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report of 2019 indicates that a staggering 2.5 million Americans tested positive for chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis in 2019 and that syphilis rates have been increasing every year since 2001 across all demographics. 

The CDC’s research further found that men who have sex with men (MSM) account for half of the syphilis cases. However, syphilis rates among women have increased by 178.6% between 2015–2019. Also, one worrisome fact involves the highest-ever detection of congenital syphilis in newborns between 2015 and 2019.

STD Statistics Globally in 2020

Are STDs on the rise? 2020 saw the continuation of the recent trend of rising infections. Over one million people get infected with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) daily. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated new STI cases by category as follows in 2020: 

  • 156 million cases of trichomoniasis
  • 129 million cases of chlamydia
  • 82 million cases of gonorrhea
  • 7.1 million cases of syphilis 

The WHO’s STI estimation further highlights that: 

  • Over 490 million people were living with genital herpes simplex virus (HSV) in 2016
  • 300 million women were infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • 296 million people are suffering from chronic hepatitis B 

With vaccination, preventable STIs include hepatitis B and HPV. Millions of women remain at risk of getting cervical cancer due to undetected or untreated HPV infections. Men and women can prevent progressive complications by getting a rapid STD test.

STI Detection and Its Consequences

The majority of people testing positive for STIs and STDs remain asymptomatic. Every year, the world sees an estimated 374 million new infections, which is over one million per day, according to the WHO

HPV remained responsible for 570,000 cases of cervical cancer in 2018. The infection further causes around 311,000 cervical cancer deaths every year. Syphilis afflicted almost 1 million pregnant women in 2016, inducing around 200,000 stillbirths and infant deaths.  

A look at the figures for STIs reveals troubling results. Aside from increasing the risk of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), STIs trigger other serious complications. In 2016, the infections induced more than 350,000 negative pregnancy results, such as: 

  • Neonatal death
  • Stillbirth
  • Premature birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Congenital deformities
  • Sepsis 

In 2019, hepatitis B resulted in around 820,000 deaths globally. Cirrhosis and liver cancer remain the primary causes of death. 

At Rapid STD Testing, we offer 10-panel STD tests for maximum precaution so you can seek immediate medical attention if needed.

STD Statistics by Age

Worldwide STD test reports highlight HSV genital infections in over 500 million people between 15 and 49 years. 

What population has the highest rate of STDs? Although STIs remain prevalent in all age groups, the most afflicted group includes the youth. Learn the chances of getting an STD from a one-night stand at Rapid STD Testing.


Based on data reviewed by Yale School of Medicine, all age groups above 15 years report high infection rates. 

Syphilis rates were highest in men between 25 and 29 years and women between 20 and 24 years. Syphilis infections in women rose by 30% between 2017 and 2018. Excessive drug use in these age groups accelerated the STD spread, especially methamphetamine, heroin, and other intravenous drugs. 

Infected mothers account for 80% of syphilis cases in infants. About 40% of syphilis cases result in stillbirth or infant death.

Chlamydia and Gonorrhea

Around 61% of chlamydia infections occur in the age group between 15 and 24. The age group also holds the record for 42% of gonorrhea cases. 

In the United States, the highest chlamydia infection rates persist among those aged between 20 and 24 years, affecting women more than men. Gonorrhea infections affect teens and young adults more than other groups.

STDs in Adolescents and Young Adults

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) states that adolescents and young adults show a higher risk of contracting HPV. Over 75% of new infections occur in individuals between 15 and 25 years. Young girls’ bodies prove more vulnerable to contracting HPV.  

What are the top three leading STDs for 14-year-olds? Diseases prevalent among adolescents include chlamydia, congenital syphilis, and gonorrhea. Young teens contract STDs from unprotected sexual experimentation as well as child abuse.


In 2019, HIV infection rates remained highest in the age group of 25 to 34. The second most infected group includes the age of 35 to 44. Over the years, adolescents, young adults, and persons over 45 years experienced a decline in infection rates. 

Between 2015 and 2019, HIV rates decreased by 8%. However, the CDC recommends routine HIV tests for everyone above 13 years of age. At Rapid STD Testing, we offer same-day STD testing for added convenience.  

STD Cases by State

Despite advancements in STD testing, treatment, and the availability of condoms, STD cases keep surging in the U.S. With millions of new cases every year, statewide STD distribution varies. We gathered the CDC’s data on states with the highest STD cases per 100,000 population.


Mississippi reported the highest number of gonorrhea cases at 327 per 100,000 in 2021. The state ranked third in chlamydia and syphilis infection cases at 741 and 16 per 100,000, respectively.


Alaskans reported the highest chlamydia cases in the country with 6,159 infections per 100,000 in 2018. The state’s cumulative syphilis number fell to 832 per 100,000. The gonorrhea rate remained the second-highest in the country with 304 cases per 100,000.  


The state of Louisiana registered the third-highest chlamydia rate with 775 cases per 100,000. Gonorrhea infection numbers fell to 258 per 100,000, making it the fifth-highest in the country. Syphilis also declined, dropping the state from the third to the seventh rank.

South Carolina

This southern state reported the third-highest gonorrhea rate and the fourth-highest chlamydia rate in the country. Its respective numbers stood at 275 and 675 per 100,000.

New Mexico

This Southwestern state ranked fifth-highest in chlamydia cases and sixth-highest in gonorrhea and syphilis cases. The STDs’ respective numbers were 671, 253, and 15 per 100,000.

STD Cases by U.S. Cities

What city had the highest STD level in 2021? Based on the CDC’s rankings as interpreted by the Innerbody Research Team, Jackson, MS, was the highest with 4,281 cases overall per 100,000 population. Chlamydia remained the most prevalent STD in Jackson, with 3,984 infections per 100,000, followed by HIV (2,541 per 100,000), gonorrhea (2,081 per 100,000), and syphilis (100 per 100,000). 

In an alarming reveal, military cities show widespread STD cases. Augusta, GA, Montgomery, AL, and Fayetteville, NC, all appear in the top 10 list of afflicted cities. Although these cities do not have large civilian populations, they accommodate large military bases.

States with Low STD Rates

The states with the lowest levels of STDs included: 

  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • New Hampshire
  • Maine
  • Wyoming 

Vermont ranked the lowest in gonorrhea and syphilis cases, with 43 and 1.8 cases per 100,000, respectively. The state’s chlamydia level fell to the second-lowest in the country, with 275 infections per 100,000. West Virginia reported the lowest chlamydia level, with 199 cases per 100,000. 

New Hampshire reported the second-lowest gonorrhea level, with 44 cases per 100,000. Connecticut’s syphilis level fell to the second-lowest with only three infections per 100,000. 

Many people who have STDs experience mild or no symptoms at all. Social stigma and false knowledge further boost the spread of infections. Learn about common STD myths at Rapid STD Testing.

STD Rates by Ethnicity

CDC highlights the high prevalence of STDs among ethnic minority groups. In the U.S., social factors and economic disadvantages promote unhealthy sexual practices in certain communities. Poverty, unemployment, lack of adequate education, and fewer opportunities increase infection rates. 

Disparities in STD statistics indicate reduced infection rates among Caucasians compared to various minority racial groups. The increased risk rates for minorities include:  

  • Black Americans at five to eight times
  • American Indians, Native Alaskans, and Native Hawaiians at three to five times
  • Latinos at one to two times


Among the population afflicted by chlamydia, women of color reported a higher number of cases. The infection rates remain five times higher among black women than white women. High-risk racial and ethnic groups include: 

  • Black
  • American Indian
  • Alaska Native
  • Native Hawaiian
  • Hispanic


CDC's HIV statistics show that Black Americans remain the most afflicted group. The Black population accounts for 43% of the total HIV diagnoses. They also experience 44% of HIV deaths. Although HIV infections reduced in 2019, the rates remained the same in racial and ethnic communities. Latino groups show a 22% infection rate. Persons of diverse races report a 19% infection rate.


Gonorrhea infections remain the highest in blacks with 549 cases per 100,000 population. The STD rates increased among ethnic and racial minority groups after 2014. The rates increased by: 

  • 89.1% in White Americans
  • 66.0% in Hispanic Americans
  • 90.3% in Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders
  • 99.4% in Asians
  • 110% in Multiracial individuals


Ever since syphilis rebounded from the verge of elimination in 2001, the cases have multiplied. The primary and secondary syphilis rates saw a hike among ethnic groups from 2014 to 2018. 

The highest spike of 40.9% came from Native Americans and Alaskans. Multiracial individuals came second with a 22.1% infection rate increase. Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders followed with 19%. Others included: 

  • Blacks (18 %)
  • Hispanics (13%)
  • Whites (12%)
  • Asians (10%) 

Experts conclude that Black men and Latino men show high risks of contracting STDs. The main cause remains poor socioeconomic conditions. A major STD prevention step includes addressing inequalities and focusing on vulnerable minority groups.

Beat the Odds Today!

Let’s eliminate the spread of disease and reverse the rising STD statistics. Get in touch with us at Rapid STD Testing at (866) 872-1888 to schedule your test.


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By: RSC Editorial Team
January 5, 2022

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