STIs among Young Americans 2013 Infographic

This infographic outlines key statistics on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among youth. The first graphic shows that youth bear disproportionate share of STIs – in fact, Americans ages 15 to 24 make up just 27% of the sexually active population, but account for 50% of the 20 million new STIs in the U.S. each year. The second graphic shows that consequences of STIs are particularly severe for young women. In fact, undiagnosed STIs cause 24,000 women to become infertile each year. The third graphic shows that young people account for a substantial proportion of new STIs. Americans ages 15 to 24 account for 70% of the 820,000 gonorrhea infections among all ages; 63% of the 2.9 million chlamydia infections among all ages; 49% of the 14.1 million HPV infections among all ages; 45% of the 776,000 genital herpes infections among all ages; and 20% of the 55,400 syphilis infections among all ages. Finally, Americans ages 13 to 24 account for 26% of the 47,500 HIV infections among all ages. The fourth graphic shows that many youth do not know they’re infected because STIs often have no symptoms. In fact, among youth ages 15 to 24, 200,000 cases of gonorrhea are diagnosed and reported, while the estimated total number of new infections is 570,000. One million cases of chlamydia are diagnosed and reported among youth ages 15 to 24, while the estimated total number of new infections among this population is 1.8 million. The fifth graphic shows that unique factors, including insufficient screening, confidentiality concerns, biology, lack of access to health care, and multiple sex partners place youth at risk. Many young women don’t receive the chlamydia screening CDC recommends. Many youth are reluctant to disclose risk behaviors to doctors. Young women’s bodies are biologically more susceptible to sexually transmitted infections. Youth often lack insurance or transportation needed to access prevention services. And many young people have multiple partners which increases STI risk. The final graphic outlines the steps young people can take to protect themselves against STIs, such as getting tested, reducing risk behaviors, and getting vaccinated against HPV.

Page last reviewed: May 7, 2013