Updated on March 19, 2024

STD statistics

Fact Checked

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are infections that can be transmitted through sexual activity, including vaginal, anal, or oral sex. These infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or other microorganisms. STDs can affect individuals of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations.

Common types of STDs

  1. Chlamydia: Caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, it can infect the genital tract and can also affect the throat and eyes.
  2. Gonorrhea: Caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, it can infect the genital tract, rectum, and throat.
  3. Syphilis: Caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum, it progresses through stages and can affect various organs if left untreated.
  4. Herpes (HSV): Caused by the herpes simplex virus, it results in painful sores or blisters, commonly around the genitals or mouth.
  5. Human Papillomavirus (HPV): A group of viruses that can cause genital warts and is linked to the development of cervical and other cancers.
  6. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus): Attacks the immune system and, if untreated, can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
  7. Hepatitis B and C: Viral infections affecting the liver, primarily transmitted through sexual contact or sharing of contaminated needles.
  8. Trichomoniasis: Caused by a parasite, it can infect the urinary and genital tracts.

STI vs. STDs; differences and similarities

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are terms often used interchangeably, but there's a subtle distinction. An STI refers to an infection caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or other microorganisms transmitted through sexual activity. It emphasizes the infection's presence, which may or may not cause symptoms. On the other hand, an STD refers to a sexually transmitted infection that has progressed to a disease, indicating the manifestation of symptoms or complications. In essence, all STDs begin as STIs, but not all STIs necessarily progress to the disease stage, highlighting the broader scope of the term STI.

40+ facts and statistics about STDs

  1. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are acquired daily worldwide (WHO).
  2. Each year there are an estimated 374 million new infections with 1 of 4 curable STIs: chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomoniasis (WHO).
  3. In the United States, nearly 26 million new cases of STDs occur each year, with half of these among young people aged 15–24 (CDC).
  4. Chlamydia is the most reported bacterial STD in the U.S., with over 1.8 million cases reported in 2019 (CDC).
  5. In 2020, over 677,769 cases of Syphilis were reported in the U.S (StatPearls).
  6. Cases of syphilis saw the largest increase, with cases surging 32% between 2020 and 2021 to reach the highest number of reported incidences in 70 years (BBC).
  7. WHO estimates that 7.1 million global adults between 15 and 49 years old acquired syphilis in 2020 (WHO).
  8. In 2022, more than 3,700 babies were born with congenital syphilis, more than 10 times the number in 2012 (The Guardian).
  9. HPV is the most common STI in the United States (CDC) affecting almost 80 million Americans.
  10. About 14 million new cases of HPV are recorded each year (CDC).
  11. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) affects approximately 1 in 6 individuals aged 14 to 49 in the U.S (John Hopkins Medicine).
  12. Trichomoniasis, caused by a parasite, affects an estimated 2 million people in the U.S in 2018 (CDC).
  13. Condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can greatly reduce the risk of transmitting most STDs (Cleveland Clinic).
  14. STDs can lead to serious health consequences, including infertility, ectopic pregnancies, and increased risk of HIV transmission (CDC).
  15. Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at higher risk for certain STDs, including syphilis and HIV (CDC).
  16. Untreated syphilis during pregnancy can lead to congenital syphilis, causing serious health issues for the baby (CDC).
  17. People living with HIV are at a higher risk of contracting other STDs (CDC).
  18. About 39 million people in the world are living with HIV (WHO).
  19. Hepatitis B is an STD that can be prevented through vaccination (CDC).
  20. 1.3 million [1 million–1.7 million] people became newly infected with HIV in 2022 (UNAIDS)
  21. 630 000 [480 000–880 000] people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2022 (UNAIDS).
  22. Since the onset of the HIV epidemic, approximately 85.6 million individuals have contracted HIV, and AIDS-related illnesses have claimed the lives of around 40.4 million people (UNAIDS).
  23. Some STDs, like herpes and HIV, have no cure but can be managed with antiretroviral medications (VeryWell Health).
  24. Drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea are a growing concern, emphasizing the importance of responsible antibiotic use (WHO).
  25. Lack of awareness and misconceptions about STDs contribute to their prevalence.
  26. Partner notification and treatment are crucial components of STD prevention efforts.
  27. Many STDs can be transmitted through oral sex, not just through vaginal or anal intercourse.
  28. Regular Pap smears are essential for early detection of cervical cancer linked to HPV infection.
  29. HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active individuals will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives.
  30. Increased access to testing, treatment, and prevention services is essential for reducing STD rates.
  31. Young people and adolescents often face barriers in accessing comprehensive sexual health education.
  32. The rate of reported STDs in the U.S. has been steadily rising over the past several years.
  33. STDs can increase the risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV.
  34. Long-term consequences of untreated STDs include pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and chronic pain.
  35. Women are often more vulnerable to the severe health consequences of untreated STDs.
  36. The economic burden of STDs includes medical expenses, productivity loss, and healthcare system costs.
  37. The rise of dating apps and online platforms has been linked to increased STD transmission rates (Ariel and Teddy, 2023).
  38. PrEP awareness and usage have been growing, but access barriers still exist for some populations.
  39. Cultural norms and societal attitudes toward sex can impact the spread of STDs.
  40. The HPV vaccine is recommended for both males and females, ideally before the onset of sexual activity.
  41. Routine STD testing is recommended for individuals with multiple sexual partners or those in high-risk groups.
  42. Disparities in STD rates highlight the importance of addressing social determinants of health.
  43. The stigma surrounding STDs often leads to delayed testing and treatment.
  44. Public health campaigns and education initiatives play a vital role in raising awareness about STD prevention and care.


In conclusion, STDs pose a significant global health challenge, impacting millions of lives annually. Prevention through education, safe practices, and accessible healthcare is crucial. Addressing stigma, increasing awareness, and fostering open dialogue are key to reducing the prevalence of STDs and improving overall sexual health outcomes worldwide.

The content on Nesa's Hemp blog is for educational purposes only. We meticulously research and cite our sources, but advise consulting a professional before making decisions based on our information. We derive our content from reputable studies and publications, but individual circumstances may vary. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of our content to every situation. Nesa's Hemp blog and its authors are not liable for any loss or inconvenience resulting from reliance on our information. By using our blog, you waive any claims against us regarding the accuracy or completeness of our content.

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