STDs skyrocket to highest levels in a decade in Georgia

ATLANTA — Sexually transmitted diseases skyrocketed to the highest level in a decade in Georgia in 2021. according to state data.

Georgia reported 106,467 combined cases of STDs, primarily gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia, in 2021, according to data from the Georgia Department of Public Health. That represents a more than 17% increase from just a year earlier in 2020 and a 54% increase from a decade ago.

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A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that in 2020, Georgia ranked 6th in the nation for chlamydia, 16th for gonorrhea and 9th for syphilis. The CDC has not released data broken down by state for 2021.


Nationally, STD infections have risen for the sixth consecutive year. The CDC estimates that of the nearly 20 million new STD infections reported a year in the U.S., half of them are among people aged 15 to 24. One in two sexually active people will contract an STD by age 25, according to the GDPH.

“These infections remain common, and costly, and challenge the health and wellness of millions of people across the United States,” according to the GDPH.

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According to the CDC, despite an initial decline in reported STD cases during the pandemic, 2020 surveillance data showed that the pandemic did little to slow the increase of STDs across the U.S.

“There were moments in 2020 when it felt like the world was standing still, but STDs weren’t,” said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., M.P.H., Director of CDC’s National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention The unrelenting momentum of the STD epidemic continued even as STD prevention services were disrupted.”