CBC infographic on the state of sexually transmitted infections in the United States in 2021

October 4, 2022

Increase in Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in a news release in April of 2021 that there had been a rise in US cases of STDs in 2019, marking six consecutive years of increasing cases of sexually transmitted infections. While there was a temporary decline in reported cases during the start of the pandemic, health officials believe this was due to a decrease in the availability of STD testing services. They note the surge of reported STD cases as testing clinics were able to re-open after the disruption to some health care services brought on by the pandemic. The increase in recent years is likely due to several factors; the CDC news release cites drug use, poverty, and unstable housing as contributing factors. Even online dating sites have been proposed as a possible factor.

Some of the more serious consequences from STDs include an increased risk of getting HIV, chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and complications for newborns—including death. Due to these health complications and the increase in rates of STIs, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services devised a Sexually Transmitted Infections National Strategic Plan (STI Plan): 2021—2025. In an effort to reverse the trend, the plan outlines strategies to prevent new STIs, improve treatment, advance STI research, reduce STI health disparities, and achieve coordinated efforts to address the STI epidemic.


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Image credit: Division of STD Prevention, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). The State of STDs – Infographic. Retrieved September 30th, 2022 from