Despite lockdown STI cases continued to escalate over the COVID-19 pandemic

By Brian Ward

A new CDC report, Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Surveillance, 2021, paints a disturbing picture of STIs on the rise.

Between 2020 and 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, there were over 2.5 million reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, which the report blames in part on the disruption to STI-related prevention and care services during the lockdown.

Other statistics from the CDC include:

  • Over 1.6 million chlamydial infections were reported in 2021. This is a 4.1% increase from 2020 and signals a return to pre-pandemic levels.
  • 710,151 gonorrhea cases were reported in 2021. This is a 28% increase since 2017.
  • Reported cases of syphilis (all stages) have increased 74% since 2017.
  • Congenital syphilis increased 203% in the past five years.

The CDC, which published the report as part of STI Awareness Week, also stated it found concerning trends among “racial and ethnic minority groups and gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, emphasizing a need for enhanced care for those most affected by these infections.”

“While tried-and-true prevention strategies are key, social inequities often leads to health inequities and, ultimately, manifest as health disparities. We must work collaboratively to address social, cultural, and economic conditions to make it easier for people to stay healthy,” the CDC wrote.

Go to the CDC website to learn more and find resources on helping patients with STIs and how to educate people on how to prevent them.

Found in Categories: 
Infection Control, Patient Safety

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