Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are more common than you
think.The CDC calls the state of STIs in the U.S. – with more than 110 million
new and existing infections – “a severe human and economic
Estimated Prevalence of STIs in the United States
Of 357 million new STIs occurring globally each year, 20 million take place
in the U.S.2Half of new infections in the U.S. occur in
people ages 15-24, although this group only represents 25% of the
sexually active population.1
Why You Should Know
HPV, chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis are the most commonly occurring STIs each year in the U.S.1
HPV: HPV (human papillomavirus) is the most common STI. There are more than 100 types of HPV, and nearly all sexually active men and women will have an HPV infection at some point in their lives.3,4 While most HPV infections disappear on their own within 1 to 2 years, some types of HPV are responsible for causing cervical cancers. These high-risk strains of HPV that remain active or persistent are the ones responsible for abnormal cervical cells that cause cervical cancer.5
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea: Chlamydia and gonorrhea are two types of STIs that are likely to show no symptoms.6,7 Patients who test positive for chlamydia and gonorrhea can be easily treated with antibiotics. Without treatment, however, these STIs can cause serious health consequences such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which could cause chronic pelvic pain, infertility and ectopic pregnancy.6,7
Trichomonas vaginalis (Trichomoniasis): Trichomonas vaginalis is another common, curable STI that affects both women and men.8 However, most women have no idea they are infected until later in life when they have symptoms such as vaginal discharge, itching, burning or unusual odor.8,9 Because these symptoms are similar to those caused by yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis, it is important to identify the root cause so patients receive appropriate treatment. Left untreated, trichomoniasis can cause pregnancy complications (pre-term delivery), increased risk for becoming infected with other STIs and discomfort from symptoms.10,11
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
There are several other STIs that are less common, but that can still have long-term health consequences. Knowing your STI status is important to ensure proper treatment. Some infections, such as syphilis and Mycoplasma genitalium can be cleared from the body with antibiotics.10 Other infections such as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), HSV-2 (herpes simplex virus) and HBV (Hepatitis B) can’t be cured, but with the help of a healthcare provider, can be managed to minimize their impact and prevent transmission.
When You Should Know
If you are sexually active, you can reduce your risk of developing or transmitting an STI by practicing safe sex, including condom use. You can help protect yourself from the dangers of untreated STIs and help stop the spread of these infections by getting tested regularly as recommended for your age and lifestyle.
The CDC recommends1,10:
Annual chlamydia and gonorrhea screening for all sexually active women younger than 25, as well as older women with increased risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners or who have a history of STIs.
All adults and adolescents be tested at least once for HIV, and those with increased risk should be tested annually.
Chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, syphilis and Hepatitis B screening for all pregnant women at the first prenatal visit.
Trichomoniasis screening should be conducted at least once a year for all HIV-infected women, and healthcare providers should consider testing for women with vaginal discharge.
Screening at least annually for chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV and syphilis for all sexually active gay men, bisexual men, and other men who have sex with men (MSM).
Know Why Hologic Cares
As a leader in STI diagnostics, Hologic is proud to take a leading role not only as a provider of STI testing products, but also in sharing the message about STI screening. By increasing public awareness about STI screening, we can help stop the
spread of STIs and help patients live healthier, happier lives. Please join us in the fight by informing yourself about screening recommendations and sharing the news with those you love today.
References: 1. CDC. Incidence, Prevalence, and Cost of Sexually Transmitted Infections in the United States. http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/sti-estimates-fact-sheet-feb-2013.pdf. Published February 13, 2013. Accessed February 18, 2016. 2. Sexually Transmitted Infections Fact Sheet. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs110/en/. Updated December 2015. Accessed February 18, 2016. 3. Doorbar J. Molecular biology of human papillomavirus infection and cervical cancer. Clin Sci (Lond). 2006;110(5):525-41. doi:10.1042/ CS20050369 4.CDC. Genital HPV Infection - CDC Fact Sheet. http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/hpv-factsheet-march-2014.pdf. Published 2014. Accessed February 18, 2016. 5. Saslow, et al. American Cancer Society, American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, and American Society for Clinical Pathology Screening Guidelines for the Prevention and Early Detection of Cervical Cancer. Am J Clin Pathol. 2012;137:516-42. doi:10.1309/AJCPTGD94EVRSJCG. 6. CDC. Chlamydia - CDC Fact Sheet. http://www.cdc.gov/std/ chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia.htm. Updated December 16, 2014. Accessed February 18, 2016. 7. CDC. Gonorrhea - CDC Fact Sheet. http://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/stdfact-gonorrhea.htm. Updated December 16, 2014. Accessed February 18, 2016. 8. CDC. Trichomoniasis - CDC Fact Sheet. http://www.cdc.gov/std/trichomonas/stdfact-trichomoniasis.htm. Updated November 17, 2015. Accessed February 18, 2016. 9. Sutton, et al. The Prevalence of Trichomonas vaginalis Infection among Reproductive-Age Women in the United States, 2001-2004. Clin Infect Dis. 2007;45(10):1319-26. doi:10.1086/522532. 10. CDC Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2015. http://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/tg-2015-print.pdf. Accessed February 18, 2016. 11. Allsworth J, et al. Trichomoniasis and other sexually transmitted infections results from the 2001-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Sex Transm Dis. 2009;36(12):738-44.