STD Rates Around The World

STD World In August of 2018, the CDC released a statement that the STD infection rates in America had reached an all-time and critical high. With over 2.3 million newly reported infections at the end of 2017, the STD infection rates are being considered a public health and safety hazard. 

Adding to this alarming statement is the knowledge that the 2.3 million U.S. infections in 2017 only accounted for those infections that were reported and does not include the millions of infections that have not yet been identified or treated. Meaning the risk for contracting one of these undiagnosed diseases is frighteningly high.

The majority of STDs can infect the human body without any signs or symptoms and can go undetected and unreported for lengthy times, all while continuing to be spread. And while these undetected STDs continue to be passed by unknowing individuals, many STDs can cause significant harm to the human body. Some STD infection risks include infertility, certain types of cancer, soft tissue and joint damage, brain damage, organ, and heart failure, and in some cases can lead to death.

THE ONLY WAY TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE AN STD IS TO GET TESTED

Early identification is a vital component in the treatment and prevention of further spread of any STD condition. STDAware offers the fastest turn around time for results in the industry*. To find out more about getting tested with STDAware, click here.

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In the United States, as a world leader in health and medicine, it is cause for concern and alarm that these types of infectious diseases would be so prevalent in the U.S., especially considering the kind of funding, both government and private, that is invested into sexual health services and education. While America certainly battles with the administration of these services and resources, the U.S. has made significant investments, compared other countries, in the amount and availability of sexual health service and testing offerings.

STDs are a global issue. 

So how do other countries compare with the U.S. in terms of STD infection rates? The answer to this is unclear due to several factors, such as the availability of medical facilities that would report STD infection in each country, the stigma around seeking medical attention for sexual health services depending on the country’s religious and cultural makeup, and the availability of STD infection reporting that each country is willing to supply and at what time. 

However, STDAware has been able to track down reliable sources for STD rates in each of the major countries and regions in the world. Time of reporting is noted by the year it was released. 

HIV By Country or Region

Key Facts from World Health Organization (WHO)

  • HIV continues to be a major global public health issue. More than 35 million people have died from HIV and HIV related illness so far. 
  • 940 000 people died from HIV and AIDS-related illness in 2017
  • Approximately 1.8 million new HIV infections were identified in 2017
  • The African regions still account for over two-thirds of the global total of new HIV infections.
  • Individuals with an increased risk of HIV, irrespective of HIV type or geography, include men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, people in prisons and other closed settings, sex workers and their clients, and transgender people. Factors for these risks amongst these populations are often due to legal and social issues related to sexual orientation or behaviors, which create the increased vulnerability to HIV alongside reduced access to testing and treatment programs.

 Number of People Living with HIV (Infections rates reported worldwide as of 2016)

Western & Central Europe and North America (Including the U.S.)

Infection rates

Of the 2.1 million HIV infections in Western and Central Europe and North America, the U.S. is responsible for over half of the HIV infections reported within this region with 1.1 Million infections as of 2016 and 1.2 Million at the end of 2017. Canada’s HIV infection rate in 2016 is 63,110 but is a 5% increase compared to the previous year.

Of those 2.1 million infections, 29,444 were newly diagnosed in the 31 countries of the EU and 39,660 were newly identified in the United States, alone, with an estimated 3,400 U.S. infections attributed to intravenous drug use and needle sharing. 

The U.S. States with the highest rates of HIV infection are California, Florida, and Texas, which contributed 36% of the new HIV infections.

A quarter of the 2.1 Million HIV infections were reported across France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the UK.

 

Awareness, Testing & Treatment

Europe

Europe is gradually increasing testing and treatment options. Despite increases in testing levels, in 2017 the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control reported testing rates amongst key and high-risk populations are below 50% in many Western European and North American countries, and the availability on testing data is limited and restricted. 

However, two European countries, Denmark and Sweden, have met the UNAIDS’ target of diagnosing 90% of people living with HIV, and another 10 European countries are following suit with 85% of people living with HIV being aware of their status.  Of those aware of their infection 89% (79% of all people diagnosed with HIV) are seeking treatment. And of those who are on treatment 84% (65% of all people diagnosed with HIV) have achieved viral suppression.
HIV Efforts: Western and Central Europe and North America

Nineteen of 24 countries offer testing at HIV centers, and in central and Eastern Europe, testing is available at specialized centers. But only three countries in Western and Central Europe (France, Norway and the UK) have laws and policies in place authorizing self-testing.

Free testing is offered depending on the country and policies. To see European Free Test Clinics visit: https://ecdc.europa.eu/en/test-finder.

Overall Europe is making great strides in facing the epidemic.

United States

In past years, the U.S. has made concerted efforts to increase the awareness and services for HIV testing and treatment solutions. However, in recent years, the CDC reports that there is a “leveling off” in the reduction outcomes of HIV infection.  In the 2018 CDC press release Jonathan Mermin, M.D., M.P.H, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention stated,  “We are sliding backward,” and “It is evident the systems that identify, treat, and ultimately prevent STDs are strained to near-breaking point.”

Even with funding and efforts both from the government and private service groups, it is estimated that one out of every seven people (15%) who have HIV are unaware that they have the disease and are potentially spreading it to additional partners.

Of those aware of their HIV infection, only 63% seek treatment of any form. Only 49% of those who seek treatment maintain their treatment protocol and only 51% of those on treatment achieve viral suppression. These statistics are indicative of the lack of awareness and access to affordable HIV care.

HIV Efforts: United States of America 

The CDC has made significant efforts to improve awareness and testing facilities in their “Doing It,” campaign but it is evident that more needs to be done. Where there was a decrease in HIV infection rates up until 2010, these past few years have seen a gradual increase in the number of HIV infections as well as STDs as a whole.

Being tested for HIV and all other STDs should be as routine as an annual health exam and twice annual dental exam.  To find out more about HIV testing and treatment, click here.

STDAware is committed to creating awareness and providing accessible means of testing. STDAware offers early detection HIV screening, which allows for accurate results within the shortest amount of time after suspected exposure. Early detection testing is also a requirement for those seeking HIV prevention treatment. To find out more about the HIV testing options provided by STDAware, click here.

Western and Central Europe + North America (Including US) Overall

Late diagnosis continues to be a major challenge in the treatment and containment of HIV infection.  Approximately one-quarter of the people diagnosed with HIV between 2014 and 2016 were diagnosed during the advanced stages of infection, resulting in over 18,000 deaths due to HIV/AIDS-related illnesses in 2016.

Early identification and prevention efforts continue to be made in the US, North American and Western European countries, and will be ongoing as the fight against HIV wages on. To learn more about how you can join the fight against HIV and increase testing and awareness, click here.

In the U.S. STDAware provides over 4,000 testing locations, nationwide. To find a testing center near you, click here. Testing is quick, simple, and convenient. To learn more about how STDAware empowers the individual to take charge of their sexual health, click here.

Latin America & The Caribbean

The HIV infection rates in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean equals that of Western Europe and North America combined with 2.1 million people living with HIV. And the rate of new HIV infections in Latin America/Caribbean, reported in 2016, is 115,000 with 45,400 HIV/AIDS-related fatalities. These high rates are, in part, due to the sheer size of the population in these regions as well as the cultural stigma and prejudice that may prevent many people from receiving the care they need. However, in general, the level of awareness, testing, and treatment is relatively high.

Awareness, Testing & Treatment

Testing and treatment is readily available in many areas, but the availability of these sexual health services does not combat the numerous cultural and religious barriers that are preventing people from accessing the HIV services they need.  Efforts need to be made in reducing prejudices, violence, stigma, and discrimination associated with HIV in this region.

Latin America and the Caribbean have made considerable efforts in identifying and preventing HIV infections. With 81% of HIV positive people aware of their status, 72% of those who are aware of their infection are on HIV treatment, and of those actively being treated for HIV, 79% have achieved viral suppression.

HIV Efforts: Latin America and The Caribbean

 Eastern Europe & Central Asia

Infection Rates

1.6 million people within the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region are living with HIV. Of those 1.6 million, 190,000 were newly diagnosed, and 40,000 deaths related to HIV and AIDS occurred in 2016.

Awareness, Testing & Treatment

Of the people infected with HIV in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia only 63% are aware of their HIV status, and only 45% of those aware of their status are on any type of HIV treatment. 77% of those on treatment have achieved viral suppression.

HIV Efforts: Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Testing is available in this region, but the struggle is still against late diagnosis. This is primarily due to the amount of cultural and financial barriers in the front of HIV testing and treatment services. Lack of government funding and support of awareness and education further contributes to the social stigma of HIV and STD testing. There are also legal barriers when accessing these types of services through traditional medical channels in this part of the world. As a result, Eastern Europe and Central Asia is the only region where annual HIV infection rates continue to rise at a concerning rate.

Asia & Pacific

Infection Rates

Asia reported more than double the rates of infection in Europe and North America with 5.1 million people living with HIV in 2016 and 5.2 million in 2017.  The high number of infections is mostly a reflection of the size and density of the population in this region as well as the cultural and medical barriers associated with HIV and other STDs.

Of those 5.2 million infections 270,000 infections were newly diagnosed in 2017, but only 17,000 deaths were reported in relation to HIV and AIDS. These numbers may be a result of the way HIV and AIDS-related illnesses are tracked and reported. It can be theorized that many Asian families request that the opportunistic infection, which lead to the death in an HIV/AIDS infected individual, be documented as the cause of death, rather than HIV or AIDS, in order to “save face,” which is a cultural priority in this part of the world. 

Below are the infections rates that were available for the countries with the highest instance of HIV infection in the Asia & Pacific Region:

China:

  • 501,000 people living with HIV 
  • 115,000 new HIV infections 
  • 21,000 HIV/AIDS related deaths 

Awareness, Testing & Treatment

China has a relatively low, reported, national HIV prevalence rate, yet the HIV epidemic is still a major concern. Great strides have been made in establishing prevention and education strategies and appropriating funding for testing, and treatment services.

India:

  • 2.1 million people living with HIV
  • 80,000 new HIV infections
  • 62,000 HIV/AIDS related deaths

Awareness, Testing & Treatment

In India, the antiretroviral treatment for HIV is free but very few actually take advantage of the offerings due to the extreme cultural stigma and discrimination towards those with HIV or other STDs. The class and sect system in India is still dictating much of the way of life, in India, and having a venereal disease can have severe socio-economic ramifications for the individual and their families.

Thailand: 

  • 450,000 people living with HIV
  • 6,400 new HIV infections
  • 16,000 HIV/AIDS related deaths

Awareness, Testing & Treatment

Thailand has one of the highest HIV infection rates of all the countries in Asia and the Pacific. The HIV epidemic is mostly concentrated among specific key populations, such as men who have sex with other men (44% of infections), sex workers and transgender people (10% of infections), and those who inject drugs (11%).

However, because significant efforts in HIV testing and treatment programming has been made, in recent years, Thailand reached the UNAIDS target of 91% of people infected with HIV being aware of their status in 2016. Of those aware of their HIV status, 75% were provided treatment of some kind and of those who received treatment 79% achieved viral suppression. And studies have shown that HIV/AIDS-related deaths declined by nearly two thirds between 2005 and 2016.

 HIV Efforts: Thailand

Unfortunately, while new infections have decreased in major groups, there is a rise in new infections amongst men who have sex with men. Efforts continue to be made to extend treatment and testing programs to this specific demographic.

Myanmar (Burma):

  • 230,000 people living with HIV
  • 11,000 new HIV infections
  • 7,800 HIV/AIDS related deaths

Awareness, Testing & Treatment

After Thailand, Myanmar reports the second highest number of people infected with HIV in Southeast Asia. The widespread nature Myanmar is primarily attributed to intravenous drug use, which is responsible for 26.3% of reported infections, men who have sex with men (6.4% of reported infections) and female sex workers (5.4% of reported infections). Myanmar is a low-income country, which means the challenge of increasing education, testing, and treatment services are an economic challenge as much as any other factor.

Asia Overall

 The overall the Asian/Pacific region reports that 71% of infected individuals are aware of their HIV and of those aware of their status 66% have received treatment of some kind. Of those who have received treatment 83% have achieved viral suppression.

HIV and STD testing options vary greatly between countries. For example, where 91% of people living with HIV in Thailand are aware of their status only 35% of people living with HIV in Bangladesh are aware of their HIV status.

HIV/AIDS Efforts: Asia and Pacific

China is the country, in this region, that has most aggressively implemented HIV testing services, including self-testing, which has yielded impressive results. Unlike Cambodia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Nieu, and Singapore which are yet to or in the process of developing self-testing policies as of 2017.

Funding from international donors continues to be withdrawn from many Asian countries, which is, in turn, decreases the domestic spending on HIV resources and results in a downward trend in national responsiveness.

In addition to economic barriers, there continue to be major social and cultural barriers when it comes to implementing sexual education in schools in the Asian/Pacific region. The UNESCO found only 20 countries that have national HIV laws or policies, and only 13 of these have any formal sexual health education or awareness programs. Only Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, and Vietnam included a detailed description of sexual education in their policy, which means that less than half of young people in most Asian Pacific countries have any form of sexual health awareness.

Africa:

The African region accounts for over two-thirds of the global HIV infection with 25.7 million infections in 2017. Below are the infection rates by African sub-regions:

Middle East & Northern Africa

Infection Rates

  • 230,000 people living with HIV
  • 18,000 new HIV infections
  • 11,000 AIDS-related deaths

Awareness, Testing & Treatment

Just over half (58%) of people infected with HIV in the Middle East and Northern African region are aware of their HIV status, and of those aware of their status, only 41% (less than a quarter of all those infected) have received treatment of some form. Of those on treatment, 66% have achieved viral suppression.

 HIV/AIDS Efforts: Middle East and Northern Africa

This region is one of only two global regions where HIV/AIDS-related deaths continue to rise. This fact is attributed to several social, economic and cultural barriers as well as the production of opiate drugs in many the Middle East and North African countries which has led to increasing use of intravenous drug use.

East and Southern Africa

Infection Rates

  • 19.4 million people living with HIV
  • 790,000 new HIV infections
  • 420,000 AIDS-related deaths

Awareness, Testing & Treatment

This part of the African region continues to be the most afflicted by HIV and AIDS. However, great measures have been taken to increase the availability of testing and treatment, resulting in 3 out of every 4 (roughly 76%) people living with HIV now being aware of their status.  Of those who are aware of their HIV status, 79% have been given treatment in some form, and of those on treatment, 83% have achieved viral suppression.

 HIV/AIDS Efforts: East and Southern Africa

Addressing the HIV epidemic in East and Southern Africa will continue as a long-term task. It requires energy, efforts, and funding from both local and international governments.

West & Central Africa

Infection Rates

  • 6.1 million people living with HIV
  • 370,000 new HIV infections
  • 310,000 HIV/ AIDS related deaths

Awareness, Testing & Treatment

Even though the HIV infection rates in West and Central Africa are relatively low in comparison to the other African regions, less than half  (42%) of the people in this part of the world are aware of their status and are therefore not receiving treatment. However, of those who are aware of their status 83% are on treatment of some kind, and of those on medication, 73% achieve viral suppression.

 HIV/AIDS Efforts: West and Central Africa

Many cultural conditions contribute to the lack of awareness and availability of HIV testing and treatment, such as gender inequality, harmful traditions (child marriage), and lack of educational opportunities. Finding avenues for inserting HIV testing as a value within this culture is a challenge but continues to be aided by many dedicated organizations.

Africa Overall

Africa is the most affected region, by HIV/AIDS, in the world particularly among young women. 90% of the young children in the world who are living with HIV are in the East & South African region. And 70% of the world’s HIV/AIDS-related deaths occur in Africa.

 

The WHO and other organizations have made tremendous progress in reducing the number of new HIV infections by approximately 48% since 2005. But while the efforts to identify and treat HIV in this region are remarkable, the need to shift the focus to prevention over treatment is being addressed. 

Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) has been shown to reduce the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by up to 60% and 75% of HIV positive pregnant women are receiving treatments to prevent mother-to-child transmission. Unfortunately, there are some deeply ingrained cultural, structural and legal barriers against these HIV prevention methods.

Global HIV Summary

 Global HIV/AIDS: 2016 Infection and Mortality Rates

Most parts of the world recognize the imminent threat to the public that HIV poses and are putting measures into place to better provide more accessible testing and treatment options.  Unfortunately, many countries have social, cultural, and economic barriers to the advancement of HIV testing and treatment solutions and the struggles is heightened to find ways to break down these barriers and find flexible avenues towards the successful identification of HIV infections and subsequently being able to provide treatment.

Being tested for HIV should be a routine component of any sexually active individual’s personal care. Early identification is vital to the proper identification, treatment, and management of an HIV infection.

Global HIV: Percentage of Global HIV by RegionSTDAware offers both early identification and rapid immunoassay testing for HIV 1&2. To learn more about each type of HIV test provided at STDAware, click the links below.

Early identification testing is required for individuals who are interested in preventative HIV medication. To learn more about medicine that can prevent HIV, click here.

While HIV cannot be cured, it can be managed so that an infected person can continue to live a rich, full, and satisfying life. To learn more about HIV and treatment, click here.

HIV is just one of the many sexually transmitted diseases in the world. The significance of HIV, in particular, is that it is a disease that will result in death if it is not correctly managed and treated as quickly as possible. Other STDs can result in life-threatening medical complications, but the majority of them of far less lethal than HIV. 

Other STDs do, however, have a sinister relationship with HIV in that individuals who have HIV are at a much higher risk of contracting other STD infections, and vice versa. Being infected any of the common STDs, chlamydia and gonorrhea, significantly increases the risk of contracting HIV. This is true of genital herpes, syphilis, and any of the hepatitis viruses, but the prevalence of individuals who are infected with gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV is the most notable.

Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis By Country or Region

The availability of STD rates in other countries is less consistent than those of HIV. STDAware has compiled the most recent and credible statistics on the leading, non-HIV, STD infection rates by the region below. Africa is not included in this summary as reliable data on these types of infections is scarce due to cost and availability. However, based on the rates of HIV infection rates in the African regions, we can extrapolate that a high rate of these types of STD infections exists in the African regions.

The region of Asia & The Pacific is the most heavily impacted by chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis infections. Each of these STD infections is a growing concern, globally, as they can have extensive medical implications on overall health and fertility. 

Chlamydia is highly contagious and people who have this disease are often re-infected either through insufficient, or improper treatment measures. To find out more about chlamydia, click here.

Gonorrhea also is prone to re-infection but poses an even greater risk as it is rapidly becoming resistant to the current treatments available and threatens to become a “super bug,” meaning the ability to cure certain strains of gonorrhea could become impossible. To learn more about gonorrhea, click here.

Syphilis is a re-emerging and growing concern world-wide. The spread of syphilis has increased over the past few years due to the relationship with intravenous drug use and mother to child transmission. To learn more about syphilis, click here.

Common STDs Around the World 

Overall

Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis all pose significant health risks if not identified and treated early. Unfortunately, all of these STD infections can be present in the human body without exhibiting any outward or obvious symptoms. Prolonged exposure to an STD infection, or repeat infections, can result in antibiotic-resistant strains of these infections, making them difficult, if not impossible, to treat or cure.

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The rise in STD infection rates can be closely correlated to an increase in intravenous drug use and opioid addiction as well as the popularity of dating apps such as Tinder and Grindr. STD infections are increasing at an alarming rate, and health authorities have expressed serious concern for the ability to keep up with the number of STD infections that need to be identified, treated, and prevented. At the same time infection rates are increasing, many STDs are beginning to mutate and are in danger of becoming unresponsive to current treatment protocols, leaving the scientific and medical community to battle upstream in their quest to stay on top of effective treatment options. For this reason, prevention is a crucial factor in eliminating the ongoing spread of STDs.

 

Aside from proper condom use, being tested for STDs at the same time as any sexual or needle-sharing partners is one the most effective defenses against the ongoing spread of STDs. Most STDs infect the human body while exhibiting no signs or symptoms but continue to damage the body in ways that can lead to serious health complications such as infertility, soft tissue and organ damage, brain damage, and even death.

Being tested at the same time as your sexual partner is the leading defense against the spread of disease.

Getting tested at the same time as any sexual or needle-sharing partners before engaging in sexual activities allows any existing infection to be addressed before having sex, and therefore preventing any disease from infecting any additional partners. Most STDs can be cured and those that cannot be managed so that an infected individual can enjoy a full and healthy sex life. To find out more about the STD testing and treatment solutions offered by STDAware, click here.

It is highly common for people to be co-infected with both chlamydia and gonorrhea at the same time. For this reason, STDAware offers a discounted dual testing bundle to test for these two widespread infections. Testing for HIV at the same time as testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea should also be a consideration as having chlamydia or gonorrhea dramatically increases the risk of an HIV infection.

To learn more about the dual testing bundle offered by STDAware, click here.

Early identification is critical to effective treatment of any STD condition. Being tested for STDs should be a self-requirement anytime there is a change in sexual partners or habits. To learn more about STDs and testing methods, click here.

STDAware gives individuals the power to determine when and how they are tested for STDs. Patients at STDAware can feel confident that their information is secure and private. To learn more about how STDAware safeguards their patient information, click here.

STDAware provides quick results (most results returned with 1-2 days*) along with no-cost follow up consultation for anyone who tests positive for having an STD. Patients who are diagnosed with chlamydia, gonorrhea, or HSV-2 will receive treatment at no additional fee. To find out more about the free services offered by STDAware, click here. Other services send you the results and leave you to wonder, “What’s next?”

What It Means

STDs continue to be a health hazard for all sexually active individuals, and proactive precautions should be taken to safeguard the sexual health of both individuals and the public. 

Prevention is ultimately less costly and far less damaging that treatment. Many STDs can be cured, but there are those that will persist as a lifelong condition that will have to be carefully and consistently managed to prevent additional transmission or complications of an STD condition.

Routine STD testing should be done anytime there is a change in sexual partners or activities.

Along with proper safe sex precautions, routine testing for STDs is one of the most effective defenses against the ongoing spread of disease. STDAware empowers all sexually active individuals to take charge of their sexual health by providing on-demand testing solutions with no wait times or appointments. To learn more about how to get tested with STDAware, click here.

STDAware Cares!

Caring and knowledgeable advice counselors are available to speak with you and answer any of your STD questions. Contact us toll-free: 1-855-588-6958 or email: customerservice@stdaware.com

See what people are saying about us, click here.

STOP WORRYING. GET TESTED.

* Typical results returned within 1-2 days. In the event that the test is positive for having an STD, one of the board-certified physicians on staff at STD will attempt to reach the client over the phone. If the patient cannot be reached by phone after three attempts over the span of one week, the results will be released electronically. To learn more about how STD testing works at STDAware, click here.

You might also be interested in reading:

Resources: 

http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hiv-aids

https://www.avert.org

https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/nchhstpatlas/maps.html

http://data.euro.who.int/cisid/?TabID=466357

https://ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications-data/hivaids-surveillance-europe-2017-2016-data

https://www.cdc.gov

https://www.hiv.gov

https://ecdc.europa.eu

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612844/

https://sti.bmj.com/content/87/Suppl_2/ii14

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