The U.S. military says cases of sexually transmitted diseases, including chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, have been increasing at a faster rate among the military ranks than among the civilian population over the past eight years.
Infections for other STDs, including genital HPV (human papillomavirus) and genital herpes, decreased over the same period from 2012 to 2020.
The findings were published in the latest issue of the Pentagon’s Medical Surveillance Monthly Report, a peer-reviewed medical journal devoted to health-related issues in the military.
According to the findings, chlamydia was by far the most common STD in the armed forces, followed by HPV, gonorrhea, genital herpes, and syphilis.
According to the study, women were more likely to contract all STDs with the exception of syphilis than men.
The magazine also found a higher incidence of STDs among younger service workers, African Americans, and enlisted members.
Between 2012 and 2020, there were more chlamydia infections among active duty members in the United States military than the other four STDs combined.
According to a recent study, chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease among US military personnel. Between 2013 and 2019, there was a 64 percent increase in chlamydia cases. The last year of the eight-year period showed a decline
The rate at which service workers were infected with gonorrhea was also disproportionately higher than the civilian population, the study found.
Syphilis was the only STD to record a higher incidence in men than women in the military
There were also nearly four times as many cases of chlamydia as there were of genital HPV – the second most common STD.
What stood out in the study is the prevalence of STD infections in women compared to men.
Chlamydia infection rates among female service workers were generally three items compared to the men.
Between 2013 and 2019, there was a 64 percent increase in chlamydia cases. The last year of the eight-year period showed a decline.
The increase among women is mainly attributed to service personnel under the age of 25.
Over the eight-year period, the mean rate of chlamydia infection was 192.4 cases per 10,000 people per year – nearly four times the rate of infection in the civilian population – 54 cases per 10,000 people.
Among men, the annual rate of chlamydia has risen consistently between 2013 and 2019 across all age groups and ethnicities under 35 – with the exception of non-Hispanic whites.
The rate at which service workers became infected with gonorrhea was also disproportionately higher than the civilian population.
There were also nearly four times as many cases of chlamydia as there were of genital HPV – the second most common STD
Infections for other STDs, including genital HPV (human papillomavirus) and genital herpes, decreased over the same period from 2012 to 2020
According to the study, the incidence of gonorrhea increased by 48.7 percent over the eight-year period.
There was a steady year-on-year increase between 2012 and 2018. But the number of infections decreased slightly in 2019 and 2020.
Overall, the mean gonorrhea infection rate in the military was 30.2 cases per 10,000 people over the eight-year period.
That is significantly higher than the contamination rate among civilians, which ranged from 10.7 to 17.9 between 2012 and 2018.
Incidents of syphilis also increased over the eight year study period.
In 2020 there were 5.2 cases per 10,000 people per year – or 2.2 times as many incidents of the disease as in 2012 (2.4 per 10,000 people per year).
Unlike all the other four STDs, men were more likely to be infected with syphilis, the study found.
According to the study, men contracted syphilis on average 1.3 times more than women.
The study found that the highest incidence of gonorrhea in women was among younger people under the age of 24
According to the study, non-Hispanic black women under the age of 25 were more likely to contract chlamydia than those in other age and race groups.
In men, non-Hispanic blacks under the age of 34 were more likely than other groups to contract chlamydia
According to the study, women between the ages of 30 and 34 were more likely to be infected with genital HPV
In men, genital HPV rates registered a steady decline over the eight-year period
Among men, those under the age of 24 reported the highest incidents of gonorrhea infections
U.S. military service members were more likely to contract chlamydia, gonorrhea, and genital HSV infections
This finding is consistent with the civilian population, where men are more likely to be infected.
In the last two years of the study, the number of chlamydia and syphilis infections among service workers decreased in both sexes.
According to the study, the higher incidence among female service workers is likely due to the ‘implementation of the services’ screening programs for STDs among female service workers entering active duty. ‘
“Because asymptomatic infection with chlamydia, gonorrhea or HPV is common in sexually active women, widespread screening can lead to persistently high rates of infections diagnosed in young women,” the study said.
The study authors noted that the increases were stronger in the previous years.
The incidence of chlamydia decreased by 16 percent between 2019 and 2020 and the incidence of gonorrhea remained relatively stable between 2019 and 2020.
The military believes the fall in the number of reported STDs in 2020 could be a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. military service members were more likely to contract chlamydia, gonorrhea, and genital HSV infections.
As for syphilis, overall contamination rates were highest among Marines.
The total number of genital HPV infections was highest among members of the Air Force.