Sexually Transmitted Diseases Underscore the Importance of Preventive Measures

Anurag Sharma
Anurag Sharma

Updated · Oct 13, 2023

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According to Sexually Transmitted Diseases Statistics, Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are infections transmitted through sexual activity, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. They can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites and can affect both men and women of all ages.

Editor’s Choice

  • Sexually Transmitted Disease Market size is expected to be worth around USD 171 Bn by 2032
  • More than 2.5 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were reported in 2021.
  • More than 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are acquired every day worldwide, majority of them are asymptomatic.
  • Each year, an estimated 374 million new infections arise with one of four curable sexually transmitted infections: chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, or trichomoniasis.
  • Over 500 million individuals aged 15-49 years are estimated to be infected with herpes simplex virus (HSV or herpes).
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infections are responsible for more than 311,000 cervical cancer deaths each year.
  • Nearly 1 million pregnant women were estimated to have contracted syphilis in 2016, leading to over 350,000 adverse birth outcomes.
  • Drug resistance is a major threat to reducing the burden of STIs worldwide.

Key Statistics on Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

  • More than 1 million STIs are acquired every day worldwide.
  • In 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated 374 million new infections with 1 of 4 sexually transmitted infections (STIs):
  • Chlamydia: 129 million new infections.
  • Gonorrhea: 82 million new infections.
  • Syphilis: 7.1 million new infections.
  • Trichomoniasis: 156 million new infections.

More Facts

  • In 2022, it was estimated that more than 490 million people were living with genital herpes.
  • AS estimated 300 million women gave HPV infection, which is the primary cause of cervical cancer and anal cancer among men who have sex with men.
  • Globally, an estimated 296 million people are living with chronic hepatitis B.
  • Overall incidence rates have seen an upward trend; there have been nearly 30% more reportable sexually transmitted infections (STIs) reported between 2015 and 2019 in the US.
  • In the United States, an estimated 12-12% of individuals between 14-49 years are estimated to be infected with herpes virus infection.
  • Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 affects an estimated worldwide prevalence of 500 Million People.
  • HPV infections have been linked to over 310,000 cervical cancer deaths annually.
  • Syphilis is the second leading cause of stillbirths worldwide.
  • HIV/AIDS affected approximately 37 million people globally in 2022.
  • Estimates show that 15% of HIV-infected individuals in the US remain unaware they are infected, accounting for 40% of new infections.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), around 35,000 new HIV cases occur annually in the US.
  • Mycoplasma genitalium is responsible for approximately 15% – 20% of all cases of non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU).
  • Within the category of non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU), Mycoplasma genitalium accounts for approximately 20% – 25% of cases that are not caused by chlamydia.
  • Mycoplasma genitalium is particularly associated with recurrent or persistent urethritis infections. It is estimated to be responsible for about 40% of all cases of recurrent or persistent urethritis.

Common Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that attacks the immune system, specifically targeting CD4 cells, which are crucial for the body’s defense against infections. HIV gradually weakens the immune system, making the infected individual more susceptible to various infections and diseases.

  • Since the beginning of the epidemic, approximately 84.2 million (64.0-113.0) million people have been infected with HIV.
  • The number of deaths due to HIV stands at around 40.1 million (33.6-48.1 million people).
  • Globally, at the end of 2021, approximately 38.4 million [33.9–43.8 million] people were living with HIV.
  • The prevalence of HIV among adults aged 15-49 years worldwide is estimated to be around 0.7%.
  • The WHO African region is the most severely affected, with nearly 1 in every 25 adults (3.4%) living with HIV. (Source: WHO)
  • In 2021, a total of 36,136 people received an HIV diagnosis in the United States and its dependent areas.
  • This number represents a 7% decrease in the annual number of new HIV diagnoses from 2017 to 2021.
  • An estimated 1.2 million people in the United States had HIV at the end of 2021.
  • Male-to-male sexual contact accounted for 67% of all new HIV diagnoses.
  • The total number of new HIV diagnoses resulting from male-to-male sexual contact was 24,107 in 2021.
  • Heterosexual contact accounted for 22% of all HIV diagnoses.
  • The total number of new HIV diagnoses resulting from heterosexual contact was 8,059 in 2021.

Global HIV Prevalence from 2010 to 2021

  • The total number of people globally living with HIV has increased from 26 million people in 2000 to 38.4 million people in 2021.


Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. It is one of the most frequently reported bacterial STIs worldwide.

  • Chlamydia is the most common among young people, with two-thirds of new chlamydial infections occurring among youth aged 15-24 years.
  • Approximately 1 in 20 sexually active young women aged 14-24 years has chlamydia. 
  • In 2021, chlamydia rates for African Americans/Blacks were six times higher than those of Whites.
  • In 2020, there were about 1.5 million new cases of chlamydia in the United States.
  • The number of reported chlamydia cases in 2020 decreased by 13% as compared to 2019.


Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. It can also be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her fetus during pregnancy or childbirth., which is known as congenital syphilis.

  • In 2019, the ASIR of syphilis per 100,000 persons increased to 178.48 (95% UI: 134.94–232.34).
  • 7.1 million adults were newly infected with syphilis in 2020.
  • Each year, there are an estimated 6 million new cases of syphilis worldwide among individuals aged 15 to 49 years.
  • Syphilis is the second leading cause of preventable stillbirth globally.
  • Over 300,000 fetal and neonatal deaths are attributed to syphilis annually. These deaths occur due to complications arising from syphilis infection during pregnancy.
  • In addition to the fetal and neonatal deaths, approximately 215,000 infants are placed at an increased risk of early death due to syphilis.

STD Statistics by Country

United States

The United States has consistently reported high rates of STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there has been a steady increase in STD cases in recent years.

  • Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STD in the United States.
  • In 2021, there were approximately 1.8 million reported cases of chlamydia.
  • In 2021, there were over 600,000 reported cases of gonorrhea.
  • In 2021, there were over 129,000 reported cases of syphilis (all stages).
  • In 2021, there were approximately 34,800 new HIV diagnoses in the United States.
  • It is estimated that nearly 80 million Americans are currently infected with HPV.
  • In 2018, there were 13 million new cases of human papillomavirus (HPV).

South Africa

South Africa has one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates globally. The country has also reported high rates of other STDs such as syphilis and gonorrhea.

  • In 2020, an estimated 7.8 million people were living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa, which is the highest number of people affected by HIV/AIDS in any single country.
  • The prevalence of HIV among adults (aged 15-49) was estimated to be around 20.4% in 2020.
  • An estimated 7.9 million people were living with HIV in South Africa.
  • The prevalence of HIV among adults (aged 15-49) was approximately 20% in 2022.
  • The estimated number of new cases of gonorrhea in South Africa was about 2.3 million in 2022.
  • The estimated number of new cases of chlamydia and syphilis was 1.9 million and 23,175 respectively in South Africa.
  • In 2022, the estimated number of deaths from AIDS in South Africa reached 85,796.


India has a high burden of STDs, particularly HIV/AIDS. The country also reports a significant number of cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.

  • Around 6% of the adult population in India is estimated to have one or more STIs/RTIs.
  • This translates to approximately 30-35 million episodes of STIs/RTIs occurring every year.

Prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases among men in India

Anurag Sharma

Anurag Sharma

He has been helping in business of varied scales, with key strategic decisions. He is a specialist in healthcare, medical devices, and life-science, and has accurately predicted the trends in the market. Anurag is a fervent traveller, and is passionate in exploring untouched places and locations. In his free time, he loves to introspect and plan ahead.