Big cities have higher numbers of STI infections; Which GA cities ranked in the top 100?

ATLANTA — A recent analysis of the largest 100 cities in the U.S. and the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections showed Atlanta’s rank dropped 20 spots.

Atlanta was one of just two big Georgia cities to make it on the list, the other being Columbus. Despite the smaller population, Columbus ranked higher on the list of STI infections, at No. 27 to Atlanta’s 42.

For Atlanta, the Innerbody analysis showed the overall infection level per 100,000 people was 811 in 2021. Split by STI, the numbers broke down as:

  • 1,307 HIV cases per 100,000 residents
  • 32,004 chlamydia cases per 100,000 residents
  • 12,118 gonorrhea cases per 100,000 residents
  • 2,551 syphilis cases per 100,000 residents

To put that in perspective, the greater Atlanta has a population of roughly 6.1 million people. The city alone is closer to 500,000. Columbus, by comparison, has a population around 200,000.

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The analysis of CDC data was focused on the number of infections per 100,000 people of HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.

Nationally, chlamydia was the most commonly reported STI in the CDC report, though the data is as of 2021, with 1.64 million cases.

Gonorrhea was the second most reported STI in 2021, with the CDC noting that the number of cases was up 118% from their historic low in 2009. There were 710,151 reported cases that year.

While the number of reported cases of HIV fell in 2020, the CDC reported that there were still more than 1 million Americans over the age of 13 living with the disease in 2020, the most recent year available. The number of infections that year was just under 30,700.

When it comes to syphilis, 2021 saw 176,713 cases reported across the U.S., with more than 53,000 in primary and secondary syphilis, “the most infections stages of the disease,” according to the CDC. Within that total, 2,855 cases were congenital syphilis, or infections among newborns or stillbirths.


The ranking was put together by Innerbody, which analyzed data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to rank locations by how many cases were present within each set of 100,000 people.

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