Silent STD Infection On the Rise

Chlamydia cases continue to increase across the US

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Chris Galloway, M.D.

(RxWiki News) Thinking about going to bed with that new special somebody? Better get checked out before getting under the covers.

More than 1.4 million cases of chlamydia were reported in 2011, the highest ever recorded for any condition by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), according to an annual report published online by the institution last month.

"Get tested for STDs."

Chlamydia is the most commonly reported sexually transmitted disease in the US, according to the CDC. Often female patients can be symptom free, but it can still damage a woman's ability to have kids. And more men are getting it, too.

The number of cases jumped up 8 percent from 2010, with 648.9 cases of chlamydia per 100,000 people reported in 2011 among women. The number of people screened for chlamydia, as well as the number who actually became infected, may be the reason for the increase, according to the report.

Among men, about 257 cases of chlamydia per 100,000 were reported. Although the rate for women is more than twice that for men, the number of men with chlamydia increased more than 36 percent between 2007 and 2011, compared to a little over 20 percent among women during the same time period.

The number of infections has been increasing since the late 80s. At that time, public programs for screening and treatment were first established to bring awareness to the STD and help prevent pelvic inflammatory diseases.

"Data from multiple sources on the positivity and prevalence of chlamydial infection in defined populations have been useful in monitoring disease burden and guiding chlamydia screening programs," researchers wrote in their report.

Economically disadvantaged women between 16 and 24 years of age were infected the most across 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

State by state, the percent of women infected ranged between 4.1 and 18.7 percent.

For other STDs, the report stated that the number of gonorrhea cases increased 4 percent in 2011, with similar rates for men and women at about 98.7 and 108.9 cases respectively per 100,000 people.

The number of syphilis cases decreased 19 percent since 2008. The rate at which new cases developed remained stable from 2010 to 2011. New cases among women decreased about 9 percent while they increased about 4 percent for men.

A wide disparity in the number of new cases for all STDs continues to exist between racial and ethnic groups.

"Although some decreases were observed this year among blacks, syphilis rates remain disproportionately high among black men and women," researchers said in the report.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
January 6, 2013
Last Updated:
January 9, 2013