• One in two sexually active persons will contract an STI by age 25.1
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 20 million new STIs occur every year in this country, half of those among young people aged 15–24. 2
  • Even though young people account for half of new STI cases, a recent survey showed only about 12% were tested for STIs in the last year.3
  • CDC estimates that undiagnosed STIs cause 24,000 women to become infertile each year.4
  • The total estimated direct cost of STIs annually in the U.S. about $16 billion.5


  • Researchers estimate that at least 80% of sexually active people will have an HPV infection at some point in their lifetime.6
  • CDC data for 2013–2014 show that about 42% of men and 40% of women aged 18-59 had genital HPV at that time.7
  • HPV is responsible for approximately 31,500 cases of cancer each year, including nearly all cases of cervical and anal cancer, about 75% of vaginal cancer, 70% of oropharyngeal cancer, and 69% of vulvar cancer.8
  • Within 6 years of the introduction of the first HPV vaccine, there was a 64% decrease in HPV prevalence among females aged 14 to 19 years and a 34% decrease among those aged 20 to 24 years.9


  • Herpes infection is common. About 1 in 8 people aged 14-49 in the U.S. has genital herpes.10
  • About 1 in 2 people ages 14-49 in the U.S. are infected with HSV-1, which is the typical cause of oral herpes. However, increasing numbers of genital herpes cases are caused by HSV-1.11
  • Symptoms of genital herpes often go unnoticed. Most people with genital herpes—close to 90%—don’t know they have the infection. 12
  • Globally, researchers estimate that about two-thirds of the population under age 50—more than 3.7 billion people–are infected with HSV-1. Some 140 million people aged 15-49 are infected with genital HSV-1, primarily in the Americas, Europe and Western Pacific.13

Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis

  • In 2015, rates of the three most common reportable STIs—chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis—reached a record high level. The approximately 1.5 million reported cases of chlamydia represent the highest number of annual cases of any condition ever reported to CDC.2
  • While CDC and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend annual chlamydia screening for sexually active young women ages 15-24, fewer than half of eligible women are screened according the guidelines.14
  • Young people ages 15 to 24 years old accounted for 65% of chlamydia diagnoses and 50% of gonorrhea diagnoses in 2015.2
  • During 2014–2015, rates of syphilis in both men and women increased in every region of the country.15
  • From 2013–2015, the reported gonorrhea infections increased each year. In 2015, a total of 395,216 cases were reported for a rate of 123.9 gonorrhea cases per 100,000 population.15
  • In women, undiagnosed and untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease. (PID). According to CDC, 1 in 8 women with a history of PID experience difficulties getting pregnant.16


  • CDC estimates that approximately 850,000 persons are living with hepatitis B in the U.S., although other studies have estimated this number to be as high as 2.2 million.17
  • The rate of new hepatitis B infections has declined by approximately 82% since 1991, when routine vaccination of children was first recommended.18
  • Of the more than 3 million people living with Hepatitis C, 3 out of every 4 are “Baby Boomers,” born from 1945-1965. Baby boomers are five times more likely to have Hepatitis C than other adults.19


  • According to CDC, 1.1 million people in the US are living with HIV, and 1 in 7 of them don’t know it.20
  • In 2015, 39,513 people were diagnosed with HIV infection in the U.S. in 2015.20
  • In 2013, an estimated 42% of Americans living with diagnosed HIV were aged 50 and older, 25% were aged 55 and older, and 6% were aged 65 and older.21
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, involves talking a daily medication to prevent HIV infection in people who are HIV-negative. When taken consistently, PrEP has shown to reduce HIV infection risk by up to 92%.22
  1. Cates JR, Herndon NL, Schulz S L, Darroch JE. (2004). Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
  2. CDC Fact Sheet: Reported STDs in the United States 2015 National Data for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis.
  3. Cuffe, Kendra M. et al. Sexually Transmitted Infection Testing Among Adolescents and Young Adults in the United States Journal of Adolescent Health 2016, 58(5), 512-519
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the United States, 2008
  5. CDC Fact Sheet: Incidence, Prevalence, and Cost of Sexually Transmitted Infections in the United States.
  6. Chesson HW, Dunne EF, Hariri S, Markowitz LE. The estimated lifetime probability of acquiring human papillomavirus in the United States. Sex Transm Dis. 2014 Nov;41 (11):660-4.
  7. Prevalence of HPV in Adults Aged 18–69: United States, 2011–2014. NCHS Data Brief No. 280, April 2017
  8. Saraiya M, et al. US assessment of HPV types in cancers: implications for current and 9-valent HPV vaccines. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2015;107:djv086.
  9. Markowitz, LE et al. Prevalence of HPV After Introduction of the Vaccination Program in the United States. Pediatrics Feb 2016, peds.2015-1968.
  10. McQuillan G, Kruszon-Moran D, Flagg EW, Paulose-Ram R. Prevalence of herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 in persons aged 14–49: United States, 2015–2016. NCHS Data Brief, no 304. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2018.
  11. Bradley H, Markowitz LE, Gibson T, McQuillan GM. Seroprevalence of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2—United States, 1999-2010. J Infect Dis. 2014 Feb 1;209(3):325-33.
  12. Fanfair RN, Zaidi A, Taylor LD, Xu F, Gottlieb S, Markowitz L. Trends in seroprevalence of herpes simplex virus type 2 among non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites aged 14 to 49 years-United States, 1988 to 2010. Sex Transm Dis. 2013 Nov;40(11):860-4.
  13. Looker KJ, Magaret AS, May MT, Turner KME, Vickerman P, Gottlieb SL, et al. (2015) Global and Regional Estimates of Prevalent and Incident Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Infections in 2012. PLoS ONE 10(10): e0140765.
  14. The State of Health Care Quality Report, 2016. The National Committee for Quality Assurance.
  15. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2015. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2016.
  16. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)—CDC Fact Sheet
  17. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Surveillance for Viral Hepatitis—United States, 2015.
  18. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hepatitis B FAQs for Health Professionals.
  19. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hepatitis C and Baby Boomers (1945-1965)
  20. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV in the United States: At a Glance.
  21. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Among People Aged 40 and Older.
  22. Grant RM,et al. Preexposure chemoprophylaxis for HIV prevention in men who have sex with men. N Engl J Med. 2010 Dec 30;363(27):2587-99.

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