Sexually transmitted diseases among American youth: incidence and prevalence estimates, 2000

Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2004 Jan-Feb;36(1):6-10. doi: 10.1363/psrh.36.6.04.


Context: In the United States, young people aged 15-24 represent 25% of the sexually experienced population. However, the incidence and prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among this age-group are unknown.

Methods: Data from a variety of sources were used to estimate the incidence and prevalence of STDs among 15-24-year-olds in the United States in 2000. The quality and reliability of the estimates were categorized as good, fair or poor, depending on the quality of the data source.

Results: Approximately 18.9 million new cases of STD occurred in 2000, of which 9.1 million (48%) were among persons aged 15-24. Three STDs (human papillomavirus, trichomoniasis and chlamydia) accounted for 88% of all new cases of STD among 15-24-year-olds.

Conclusions: These estimates emphasize the toll that STDs have on American youth. More representative data are needed to help monitor efforts at lowering the burden of these infections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Prevalence
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology