Rates of sexually transmitted infections likely rose during the pandemic
Experts warn that diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis seem to be on the rise because routine testing was deferred in the midst of staffing and supply shortages.
Stay-at-home orders, coupled with a fear of exposure to COVID-19, seemingly kept many people confined at home and out of the arms of unknown partners throughout much of 2020. But in a counterintuitive twist, experts are warning of a probable—and alarming—increase in cases of sexually transmitted infections in the United States.
The main concern is that the pandemic hampered testing efforts for diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis during the past two years. Testing is a critical part of controlling the spread of these infections, in part because both chlamydia and gonorrhea can initially appear without any symptoms.
Between 2015 and 2019, documented cases of all three diseases had increased by 30 percent. Then, from 2019 to 2020, Centers for Disease