According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) reached an all-time high in 2018 among both females and males and all racial and ethnic groups (data about people who are nonbinary were not available). With the release of the first-ever STI National Strategic Plan in late 2020, the United States began a path toward preventing the spread of STIs and effectively treating them.
STIs are a significant public health concern. Left untreated, STIs can spread to greater numbers of people and can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, poor birth outcomes and an increased risk of getting HIV and certain cancers. People with STIs can experience stigma and discrimination, which can diminish their quality of life.
The number of diagnosed STIs has been rapidly rising in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the number of combined
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