1 in 5 US residents has STD, CDC finds

Erica Carbajal - Print  | 

Nearly 68 million people in the U.S. had a sexually transmitted disease in 2018, or 1 in 5 people, according to CDC data published Jan. 23 in the Sexually Transmitted Diseases journal. 

Of the nearly 68 million people with an STD in 2018, 26 million were newly diagnosed. 

More key study findings: 

"At a time when [sexually transmitted infections] are at an all-time high, they have fallen out of the national conversation," said Jonathan Mermin, MD, director of the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB prevention. "There is an urgent need to reverse the trend of STIs, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected many STI prevention services." 

The report suggests the same strategies being used to address the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, such as express clinics with walk-in testing and partnerships with pharmacies and retail health clinics, could expand access to sexual healthcare. 

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