STI Rates Highest Among 15-24 Age Group

Rates of STIs are concerning across all demographics, yet are most prevalent within the 15-24 age group. Such data is proof of the importance of safe-sex practices and the educating of college students.

Data from the American Sexual Health Association states:

  • More than half of all people will have an STI at some point in their lifetime.
  • One in two sexually active persons will contract an STI by age 25.
  • Consistent condom use provides protection against contracting many STIs, including statistically significant reduction of risk against HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes and syphilis.

The CDC addresses chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis (primary, secondary and congenital), as being the most common sexually transmitted infections within the United States. All data included is from the CDC’s most recent Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2015, published in October 2016.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most notable STI in the U.S. and particularly affects young women.

While infections are generally asymptomatic, they can result in pelvic inflammatory disease, or PIV if left untreated. PIV can result in for infertility, ectopic pregnancy and chronic pelvic pain.

A total of 1,526,658 cases were reported to the CDC in the 50 states and District of Columbia.

In North Dakota, there were 3,159 total cases of chlamydia reported to the CDC in 2015, placing North Dakota as the No. 29 ranked state in case rate per population.

Of the reported cases, 2,028 infected women, while only 1,131 were reported in men.

Both Cass County and Grand Forks County, the locations of North Dakota State and the University of North Dakota, respectively, were in the highest bracket of chlamydia occurrence rate per population.

Minnesota had 21,243 reported cases of chlamydia, 14,112 of which were women, while only 7,122 infected men.

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is the 2nd most reported STI within the U.S. and a major cause of pelvic disease.

In 2015, a total of 395,216 cases were reported in the U.S.

In North Dakota, 684 cases of gonorrhea were reported in 2015, ranking it No. 30 in the nation for case rate per population.

Cases were nearly split between male and female, affecting 375 women and 309 men.

Minnesota had 4,097 reported cases of gonorrhea, ranking it No. 39 in the nation for case rate per population. 1,675 affected individuals were female, and 2,420 cases were seen in males.

Syphilis

Syphilis is a genital ulcerative disease, which, left untreated can lead to the transmission and acquisition of HIV.

There are multiple stages of syphilis, including primary and secondary, early latent, late, late latent and congenital.

In North Dakota, there were 42 total cases of syphilis, in 2015, while in Minnesota 653 total cases were reported.

These rates have significant implications for Americans aged 15 to 24 years who account for nearly two-thirds of chlamydia diagnoses and half of gonorrhea diagnoses.

Most college students fall within this age range.

There is a great financial burden caused by STIs. According to the CDC, the cost of treated STIs is nearly $16 billion per year.

Severe STI complications are preventable by routine STI testing.

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