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How many people are affected by or at risk for a sexually transmitted disease or sexually transmitted infection (STD/STI)?

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Anyone who has had or is having sexual intercourse or oral sex, or who has participated or is participating in sex play, is at risk for acquiring an STD/STI. Fortunately, it is possible for a person to decrease his or her risk by having protected sex and knowing his or her STD/STI status and that of his or her partner. Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates nearly 20 million new cases of these reportable STDs/STIs (gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis) occur each year in the United States—almost half of them among young people 15 to 24 years of age.1

While not the most common STD/STI, HIV/AIDS is one of the most devastating and most well known. Recent data from the CDC indicate that 1.1 million Americans have HIV2:

  • One in five is unaware that they have the virus.
  • Approximately 50,000 Americans become infected with HIV each year.
  • 15,529 people with AIDS died in 2010.

More information about the number of people who test positive for HIV/AIDS in the United States and the differences in these numbers for individuals from different cultures and backgrounds is available at the CDC website.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Sexually transmitted disease surveillance 2011. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved March 19, 2013, from http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats11/Surv2011.pdf (PDF - 4.91 MB) [top]
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. (2012, July). HIV in the United States: At a glance. Retrieved March 19, 2013, from http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/PDF/HIV_at_a_glance.pdf (PDF - 512 KB) [top]

Last Updated Date: 04/02/2013
Last Reviewed Date: 05/28/2013
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