We extend recent work estimating incidence and prevalence of gonococcal infections among men and women aged 15 to 39 years in the United States in 2018 by applying the same modeling framework to estimate gonococcal incidence and prevalence during 2006 to 2019.
The model is informed by cases from the Nationally Notifiable Disease Surveillance System, data from the National Survey of Family Growth, and data on other factors known to impact gonococcal incidence and prevalence. We use Monte Carlo simulation to account for uncertainty in input parameters. Results are reported as median annual per-capita incidence and prevalence; uncertainty intervals are characterized by the 25th and 75th simulated percentiles.
There were 1,603,473 (1,467,801-1,767,779) incident cases of gonorrhea estimated in 2019. Per-capita incidence increased 32%, from 1101 (1002–1221) to 1456 (1333–1605) infections per 100,000 persons. This trend in per-capita incidence had 3 phrases: an initial decline during 2006 to 2009, a plateau through 2013, and a rapid increase of 66% through 2019. Men aged 25 to 39 years experienced the greatest increase in incidence (125%, 541 [467–651] to 1212 infections [1046–1458] per 100,000 men). Women aged 25 to 39 years had the lowest incidence in 2019, with 1040 infections (882–1241) per 100,000 women. Prevalence increased more slowly among those aged 25 to 39 years versus 15 to 24 years. The incidence ratio comparing men with women aged 25 to 39 years increased from 0.76 to 1.18.
The burden of gonorrhea has increased among men and women aged 15 to 39 years since 2013. An increasing proportion of incident infections are among men. Additional biomedical and behavioral interventions are needed to control gonococcal transmission.