STD Rates by Country 2022

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An STD, or sexually transmitted disease, is a bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection usually transmitted through unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex. However, STDs can also spread via non-sexual interactions, such as passing from mother to child during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or childbirth; between drug users who share syringes; or from donor to recipient via infected blood donations. Often referred to as STIs, or sexually transmitted infections, STDs often display few or no symptoms, making diagnosis and treatment unlikely. Although all STDs can be treated, most cannot be cured entirely. As such, health agencies typically encourage prevention, especially through the use of protection when engaging in sexual activity, and regular STD testing.

While the severity of symptoms varies from one STD to the next, some infections can serious indeed—particularly for women. The World Health Organization points out that STDs can lead to neurological disease, cardiovascular disease, infertility, stillbirth, ectopic pregnancies, liver cancer, cervical cancer, and (in the case of the sexually transmitted HIV virus) AIDS. Factors that contribute to rising STD rates include drug use, poverty, and the public stigma associated with STDs and non-monogamous sexual conduct. Conversely, awareness campaigns, the use of condoms, and access to sexual health education are known to decrease the prevalence of STDs.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Rates of HIV (CIA 2020):

  1. Eswatini — 26.8%
  2. Lesotho — 21.1%
  3. Botswana — 19.9%
  4. South Africa — 19.1%
  5. Zimbabwe — 11.9%
  6. Namibia — 11.6%
  7. Mozambique — 11.5%
  8. Zambia — 11.1%
  9. Malawi — 8.1%
  10. Equatorial Guinea — 7.3%

Global STD rates

STD infection rates vary widely by disease and country, but have seen an overall increase in recent years. The World Health Organization estimates that more a million new curable STD infections are created every day. STD rates can be difficult to determine in underdeveloped and developing countries because of the lack of access to health care and dearth of available STD testing—situations which often lead to high STD infection rates as well. By comparison, developed countries tend to have more comprehensive health care systems, so STI testing is much more common and infection rates are much lower. For example, HIV/AIDS infects nearly 27% of people in underdeveloped Eswatini, but only .10% in well-developed Norway.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) and the World Health Organization, the most common type of STD around the world is Human Papillomavirus (HPV), with more than 600 million cases worldwide and 20 million in the United States. Almost every sexually active person catches HPV at some point in life. Some types of HPV have few to no symptoms, while others can lead to genital warts and cervical cancer complications. HPV is preventable for both men and women through vaccination, though there exists no full cure for it once contracted. Additional common STDs around the world include trichomoniasis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis—all of which can be cured, though gonorrhea is developing significant resistance to many modern antibiotics.

STDs in the United States, Australia, and Singapore

The United States has some of the highest STD rates in the developed world. The United States had a gonorrhea rate of 123 per 100,000 people in 2015—the highest in the developed world at the time—which increased to 188.4 cases per 100,000 people in 2019. The U.S. also posted the third-highest rate for chlamydia in the developed world with 475 per 100,000 people in 2015, which increased to 552.8 per 100,000 in 2019. STD rates increase in the United States for many reasons, including decreased condom use amongst vulnerable groups such as young people and men who partner sexually with other men. Additionally, state and local programs have experienced budget cuts, resulting in clinic closures, decreased screenings and care, and reduced patient follow-up.

STD rates in the U.S. vary widely from state to state. In 2019, the states with the highest STD rates were Mississippi, Alaska, and Alabama for gonorrhea, Alaska, Mississippi, and Louisiana for Chlamydia, and Nevada, New Mexico, and Mississippi for primary and secondary syphilis. Though not yet available in early 2022, the data for 2020 are expected to show a drop in STI rates across the country compared to 2019—however, health experts expressed concern that this reduction will not reflect a legitimate drop in the number of STIs that exist, but a drop in the number of STI's reported, due to the fact that so many clinics were forced to close during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Australia, STD cases have risen significantly over the past two decades. Experts attribute the rise to more widespread testing, increasing popularity of online dating, high tourist numbers, and a lack of condom usage, despite people being educated on their effectiveness. Singapore is ranked third overall for the highest STD rates and has the highest rate of syphilis per 100,000 people of 30.39. Singapore’s high rank is perhaps because the government did not initially educate the population about STDs and prevention. It is mandatory to report results for STD tests. This law is not common around the world and is only found in a few countries.

STD Rates by Country 2022

Country HIV (CIA 2020 est) 2022 Population
Eswatini26.80%1,184,817
Lesotho21.10%2,175,699
Botswana19.90%2,441,162
South Africa19.10%60,756,135
Zimbabwe11.90%15,331,428
Mozambique11.50%33,089,461
Zambia11.10%19,470,234
Malawi8.10%20,180,839
Equatorial Guinea7.30%1,496,662
Uganda5.40%48,432,863
Tanzania4.70%63,298,550
Kenya4.20%56,215,221
Republic of the Congo3.30%5,797,805
Cameroon3.00%27,911,548
Gabon3.00%2,331,533
Guinea Bissau3.00%2,063,367
Central African Republic2.90%5,016,678
Rwanda2.50%13,600,464
South Sudan2.30%11,618,511
Ivory Coast2.10%27,742,298
Togo2.00%8,680,837
Haiti1.90%11,680,283
Angola1.80%35,027,343
Gambia1.80%2,558,482
Ghana1.70%32,395,450
Mauritius1.70%1,274,727
Namibia1.60%2,633,874
Sierra Leone1.50%8,306,436
Saint Vincent And the Grenadines1.50%111,551
Guinea1.40%13,865,691
Jamaica1.40%2,985,094
Nigeria1.30%216,746,934
Guyana1.30%794,045
Russia1.20%145,805,947
Belize1.20%412,190
Bahamas1.20%400,516
Chad1.10%17,413,580
Liberia1.10%5,305,117
Suriname1.10%596,831
Barbados1.10%288,023
Antigua And Barbuda1.10%99,509
Thailand1.00%70,078,203
Ukraine1.00%43,192,122
Burundi1.00%12,624,840
Panama1.00%4,446,964
Ethiopia0.90%120,812,698
Mali0.90%21,473,764
Benin0.90%12,784,726
Dominican Republic0.90%11,056,370
Papua New Guinea0.90%9,292,169
Moldova0.80%4,013,171
Estonia0.80%1,321,910
Djibouti0.80%1,016,097
DR Congo0.70%95,240,792
Burkina Faso0.70%22,102,838
Trinidad And Tobago0.70%1,406,585
Brazil0.60%215,353,593
Chile0.60%19,250,195
Saint Lucia0.60%185,113
Dominica0.60%72,344
Venezuela0.50%29,266,991
Cambodia0.50%17,168,639
Portugal0.50%10,140,570
Belarus0.50%9,432,800
El Salvador0.50%6,550,389
Eritrea0.50%3,662,244
Grenada0.50%113,475
Saint Kitts And Nevis0.50%53,871
Indonesia0.40%279,134,505
Mexico0.40%131,562,772
Colombia0.40%51,512,762
Spain0.40%46,719,142
Argentina0.40%46,010,234
Malaysia0.40%33,181,072
Cuba0.40%11,305,652
Costa Rica0.40%5,182,354
Uruguay0.40%3,496,016
Vietnam0.30%98,953,541
France0.30%65,584,518
Peru0.30%33,684,208
Madagascar0.30%29,178,077
Kazakhstan0.30%19,205,043
Ecuador0.30%18,113,361
Senegal0.30%17,653,671
Laos0.30%7,481,023
Paraguay0.30%7,305,843
Mauritania0.30%4,901,981
Georgia0.30%3,968,738
Latvia0.30%1,848,837
Luxembourg0.30%642,371
Sao Tome And Principe0.30%227,679
India0.20%1,406,631,776
Pakistan0.20%229,488,994
Philippines0.20%112,508,994
Italy0.20%60,262,770
Sudan0.20%45,992,020
Uzbekistan0.20%34,382,084
Niger0.20%26,083,660
Guatemala0.20%18,584,039
Netherlands0.20%17,211,447
Bolivia0.20%11,992,656
Greece0.20%10,316,637
Honduras0.20%10,221,247
Sweden0.20%10,218,971
Tajikistan0.20%9,957,464
Israel0.20%8,922,892
Switzerland0.20%8,773,637
Nicaragua0.20%6,779,100
Kyrgyzstan0.20%6,728,271
Singapore0.20%5,943,546
Ireland0.20%5,020,199
Armenia0.20%2,971,966
Timor Leste0.20%1,369,429
Fiji0.20%909,466
Bhutan0.20%787,941
Germany0.10%83,883,596
Nepal0.10%30,225,582
Australia0.10%26,068,792
Romania0.10%19,031,335
Azerbaijan0.10%10,300,205
United Arab Emirates0.10%10,081,785
Austria0.10%9,066,710
Libya0.10%7,040,745
Denmark0.10%5,834,950
Finland0.10%5,554,960
Norway0.10%5,511,370
Oman0.10%5,323,993
Lithuania0.10%2,661,708
Cyprus0.10%1,223,387
Malta0.10%444,033
Iceland0.10%345,393

STD Rates by Country 2022

Sources