Sexually transmitted disease rates continue to rise in WA

For immediate release: October 10, 2017  (17-143)

Contacts: Jessica Baggett, Disease Control and Health Statistics  360-338-5630
                 Dave Johnson, Strategic Communications Office  360-545-2944

Sexually transmitted disease rates continue to rise in WA

OLYMPIA – Department of Health recently released its 2016 STD data, and rising rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis have prompted health officials to encourage sexually active individuals to get tested and treated.

2016 Data WA State



Primary & Secondary Syphilis

Congenital Syphilis

Overall (Men & Women)

Rate: 434.2 per 100,000

# of cases: 31,193

# of cases in 2015: 28,748

Rate: 113.7 per 100,000

# of cases: 8,165

# of cases in 2015: 7,203

Rate: 7.9 per 100,000

# of cases: 566

# of cases in 2015: 453

# of cases: 5

# of cases in 2015: 3


Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are disproportionately impacted by STDs.

Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STD; the rates are highest in 20 to 24-year-old women.   

Pregnant women experience some of the harshest outcomes from untreated STDs. Washington generally has less than one case of congenital syphilis per year; however, 2016 recorded the highest number of cases since 1992.

The 2017-2019 state budget allocates $3.3 million per year for STD prevention, monitoring, and control.

DOH is working with local public health agencies and community partners to enhance their capacity to investigate and reduce the spread of STDs. Early detection and treatment can interrupt the steady climb of STD rates.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released the 2016 Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report.

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