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Military Health System

Update: Sexually Transmitted Infections, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2013–2021

Image of This illustration depicts a 3D computer-generated image of a number of drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria. CDC/James Archer. This illustration depicts a 3D computer-generated image of a number of drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria. CDC/James Archer

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Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Abstract

This report summarizes incidence rates of the 5 most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among active component service members of the U.S. Armed Forces during 2013–2021. Infections with chlamydia were the most common, followed in decreasing order of frequency by infections with genital human papillomavirus (HPV), gonorrhea, genital herpes simplex virus (HSV), and syphilis. Compared to men, women had higher rates of all STIs except for syphilis. In general, compared to their respective counterparts, younger service members, non-Hispanic Black service members, those who were single and other/unknown marital status, and enlisted service members had higher incidence rates of STIs. Although rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea increased among both male and female service members during the latter half of the surveillance period, there was a notable decrease in the rates of chlamydia in both sexes from 2019 through 2021, and the rates of gonorrhea decreased slightly for both men and women during 2018–2021. Rates of syphilis generally increased during the first half of the surveillance period, decreased in 2020, then increased in 2021. Rates of genital HSV declined during the period from 2016 through 2021 for both male and female service members. The rates of genital HPV decreased steadily between 2012 and 2021 in men and declined between 2015 and 2021 among women. Similarities to and differences from the findings of the last MSMR update on STIs are discussed.

What are the new findings?

The incidence of chlamydia and gonorrhea generally increased among male and female service members in the latter half of the surveillance period; however, the rates decreased in 2020 and 2021. The incidence of genital HPV and HSV continued to decrease. The incidence of syphilis decreased among male and female service members in 2020, but increased in 2021.

What is the impact on readiness and force health protection? 

STIs can adversely impact service members’ availability and ability to perform their duties and can result in serious medical sequelae if untreated. Establishing standards for screening, testing, treatment, and reporting would likely improve efforts to detect STI-related health threats. Continued behavioral risk reduction interventions are needed to counter STIs among military service members.

Background

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are relevant to the U.S. military because of their relatively high incidence, adverse impact on service members’ availability and ability to perform their duties, and potential for serious medical sequelae if untreated.Two of the most common bacterial STIs are caused by Chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonorrhea). Rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea have been steadily increasing in the general U.S. population among both men and women since 2000; between 2010 and 2019, chlamydia and gonorrhea rates increased 30.5% and 88.0%, respectively.2 A March 2021 MSMR report documented more than 228,000 incident infections of chlamydia and more than 35,000 incident infections of gonorrhea among active component U.S. military members between 2012 and 2020, with increasing incidence rates of these conditions among both male and female service members in the latter half of the surveillance period, mirroring trends in the general U.S. population.3

Another important bacterial STI is syphilis, which is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. Rates of primary and secondary syphilis in the U.S. have risen steadily from a historic low in 2001 and increased 167.1% from 4.5 cases per 100,000 persons in 2010 to 11.9 cases per 100,000 persons in 2019.2 This upward trend is mirrored in the active component of the U.S. Armed Forces, in which the incidence of syphilis (of any type) increased steadily between 2012 and 2018, with most of the increase after 2014 occurring among men.3 Although these 3 relatively common bacterial STIs are curable with antibiotics, there is continued concern regarding the threat of multidrug resistance.4–6

Common viral STIs in the U.S. include infections caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) and genital herpes simplex virus (HSV). HPVs are DNA viruses that infect basal epithelial (skin or mucosal) cells. HPV genotypes 6 and 11 are responsible for approximately 90% of all genital wart infections,7 while genotypes 16 and 18 cause most HPV-related cancers.8 HSV can cause genital or oral herpes infections that are characterized by the appearance of 1 or more vesicles that can break and leave painful ulcers. Most genital herpes infections are caused by type 2 (HSV-2); however, type 1 (HSV-1), which is most often associated with oral herpes infection, is estimated to be responsible for nearly 60% of new genital herpes infections.9 Neither HPV nor HSV viral infections are curable with antibiotics; however, suppression of recurrent herpes manifestations is attainable using antiviral medication, and there is a vaccine to prevent infection with 4 of the most common HPV serotypes as well as 5 additional cancer-causing types.7 From 2012 through 2020, the overall incidence rates of genital HPV and HSV in the active component were 51.9 and 24.0 cases per 10,000 person-years (p-yrs), respectively.3

The current analysis updates the findings of previous MSMR articles on STIs among active component service members.1,3 Specifically, this report summarizes incident cases and incidence rates of 5 of the most common STIs during 2013–2021 and describes their distributions by demographic and military characteristics.

Methods

The surveillance period was 1 January 2013 through 31 December 2021. The surveillance population consisted of all active component service members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps who served at any time during the period. Diagnoses of STIs were ascertained from medical administrative data and reports of notifiable medical events routinely provided to the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division (AFHSD) and maintained in the Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS) for surveillance purposes. STI cases were also derived from positive laboratory test results recorded in the Health Level 7 (HL7) chemistry and microbiology databases maintained by the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center at the EpiData Center.

For each service member, the number of days in active military service was ascertained and then aggregated into a total for all service members during each calendar year. The resultant annual totals were expressed as person-years of service and used as the denominators for the calculation of annual incidence rates. Person-time that was not considered to be time at risk for each STI was excluded (i.e., the 30 days following each incident chlamydia or gonorrhea infection and all person time following the first diagnosis, medical event report, or positive laboratory test of genital HSV, genital HPV, or syphilis).

An incident case of chlamydia was defined by any of the following: 1) a case defining diagnosis (Table 1) in the first or second diagnostic position of a record of an outpatient or in-theater medical encounter, 2) a confirmed notifiable disease report for chlamydia, or 3) a positive laboratory test for chlamydia (any specimen source or test type). An incident case of gonorrhea was similarly defined by 1) a case-defining diagnosis in the first or second diagnostic position of a record of an inpatient or outpatient or in-theater encounter, 2) a confirmed notifiable disease report for gonorrhea, or 3) a positive laboratory test for gonorrhea (any specimen source or test type). For both chlamydia and gonorrhea, an individual could be counted as having a subsequent case only if there were more than 30 days between the dates on which the case-defining diagnoses were recorded.

Incident cases of HSV were identified by 1) the presence of the requisite International Classification of Diseases, 9th or 10th Revision (ICD-9 or ICD-10, respectively) codes in either the first or second diagnostic positions of a record of an outpatient or in-theater encounter or 2) a positive laboratory test from a genital specimen source. Antibody tests were excluded because they do not allow for distinction between genital and oral infections. Incident cases of HPV were similarly identified by 1) the presence of the requisite ICD-9 or ICD-10 codes in either the first or second diagnostic positions of a record of an outpatient or in-theater encounter or 2) a positive laboratory test from any specimen source or test type. Outpatient encounters for HPV with evidence of an immunization for HPV within 7 days before or after the encounter date were excluded, as were outpatient encounters with a procedural or Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code indicating HPV vaccination, as such encounters were potentially related to the vaccination administration. An individual could be counted as an incident case of HSV or HPV only once during the surveillance period. Individuals who had diagnoses of HSV or HPV infection before the surveillance period were excluded from the analysis.

An incident case of syphilis was defined by 1) a qualifying ICD-9 or ICD-10 code in the first, second, or third diagnostic position of a hospitalization, 2) at least 2 outpatient or in-theater encounters within 30 days of each other with a qualifying ICD-9 or ICD-10 code in the first or second position, 3) a confirmed notifiable disease report for any type of syphilis, or 4) a record of a positive polymerase chain reaction or treponemal laboratory test. Stages of syphilis (primary, secondary, late, latent) could not be distinguished because the HL7 laboratory data do not allow for differentiation of stages and because there is a high degree of misclassification associated with the use of ICD diagnosis codes for stage determination.10,11 An individual could be considered an incident case of syphilis only once during the surveillance period; those with evidence of prior syphilis infection were excluded from the analysis.

Incidence rates were calculated as incident cases of a given STI per 10,000 p-yrs of active component service. Percent change in incidence was calculated using unrounded rates.

Results

Between 2013 and 2021, the number of incident chlamydia infections among active component service members was greater than the sum of the other 4 STIs combined and 4.2 times the total number of genital HPV infections—the next most frequently identified STI during this period (Table 2). With the exception of syphilis, the crude overall incidence rates of all STIs were markedly higher among female than male service members. For chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, overall incidence rates were highest among those aged 24 years or younger and decreased with advancing age. However, overall rates of genital HSV were highest among those aged 20–24 years and overall rates of HPV were highest in those aged 30–34. Overall rates of all STIs were highest among non-Hispanic Black service members compared to those in other race/ethnicity groups. For chlamydia, gonorrhea, and genital HSV infections, overall rates were highest among members of the Army. The overall incidence rate of syphilis was highest among Navy members, and the overall rate of genital HPV infections was highest among Navy and Air Force members. Compared to their respective counterparts, enlisted service members and those with lower levels of educational achievement tended to have higher overall rates of all STIs. Married service members had the lowest overall incidence rates of all 5 STIs compared to service members who were single and never married or those of other/unknown marital status. Overall rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were highest among those working in motor transport. In contrast, overall genital HPV infection rates were highest among those in health care occupations, and the highest rates of genital HSV infections were among those working in communications/intelligence, health care, or motor transport (Table 2). Patterns of incidence rates over time for each specific STI are described in the subsections below.

Chlamydia

During the surveillance period, annual incidence rates of chlamydia among female service members were generally 3 times the rates among male service members. Annual rates among all active component members increased 67.0% between 2013 and 2019, with rates among both female and male service members peaking in 2019 (546.0 per 10,000 p-yrs and 188.3 per 10,000 p-yrs, respectively) (Figure 1). In both sexes, this increase was primarily attributed to service members in the youngest age groups (less than 25 years among female service members; less than 30 years among male service members) (data not shown).

Among female service members in each race/ethnicity group, annual rates of chlamydia generally increased among those under 25 years old during 2013–2019 (Figure 2). Among non-Hispanic Black, non-Hispanic White, and Hispanic female service members in this age group, annual rates of chlamydia increased between 2018 and 2019; in contrast, annual rates among female service members of other/unknown race/ethnicity decreased from 2018 through 2019. Then, between 2019 and 2020, annual rates decreased among female service members under 25 years old in all race/ethnicity groups. Rates remained relatively stable among female service members aged 25–34 years and among those aged 35 years or older (Figure 2). Among male service members, annual rates of chlamydia increased consistently between 2013 and 2019 in all age and race/ethnicity groups under 35 years old. During 2013–2019, annual rates remained relatively stable among male service members aged 35 or older (Figure 3). Between 2019 and 2021, rates decreased among male service members in all age and race/ethnicity groups, with the most pronounced decline among non-Hispanic Black male service members under 25 years old (Figure 3).

Genital HPV

The crude annual incidence rates of genital HPV infections decreased 35.4% among all active component service members from the beginning to the end of the surveillance period, with the most marked decrease occurring among female service members (Figure 4). Incidence rates of genital HPV infections among female service members increased to a high of 243.2 per 10,000 p-yrs in 2015 then declined by 35.8% to a low of 156.2 cases per 10,000 p-yrs in 2021 (Figure 4). Rates among male service members decreased, from 34.4 per 10,000 p-yrs in 2013 to 13.6 per 10,000 p-yrs in 2021 (60.5%). Between 2015 and 2020, annual rates of genital HPV infections decreased among female service members in all age groups; however, annual rates increased in 2021 among female service members under age 20 and those aged 30–34 (Figure 5). The decrease in the genital HPV infection rates among male service members overall during 2013–2020 was driven mainly by decreases in the rates in those aged 20–29 (Figure 6). Between 2020 and 2021, annual genital HPV infection rates increased slightly among male service members aged 35–39 (7.5%) and more markedly among those aged 40 or older (38.6%).

Gonorrhea

Between 2013 and 2021, the crude annual incidence rate of gonorrhea increased 41.8%; however, after increasing steadily from 2012 through 2019, the rate decreased slightly in 2020 and 2021 (Figure 7). The annual rates among female service members declined between 2013 and 2015 then increased through 2019 before decreasing slightly in 2020 and 2021. After increasing between 2012 and 2019, the rate among male service members decreased slightly in 2020 and 2021 (Figure 7). These trends in gonorrhea incidence were primarily driven by changes in rates among female service members under age 25 and among male service members under age 30 (Figures 8, 9). For all groups except non-Hispanic Black service members, the annual rates of gonorrhea increased during the surveillance period through 2018, but then decreased slightly through 2021 (data not shown). Among non-Hispanic Black service members, rates continued to increase in 2020 and then decreased slightly in 2021 (data not shown).

Genital HSV

Crude annual incidence rates of genital HSV infections decreased from 23.2 to 17.9 per 10,000 p-yrs over the course of the surveillance period (22.8%). Rates among female service members ranged from a high of 77.5 per 10,000 p-yrs in 2016 to a low of 50.8 per 10,000 p-yrs in 2021. Rates for male service members were also highest in 2016 (18.1 per 10,000 p-yrs) and reached their lowest points in 2020 and 2021 (11.2 per 10,000 p-yrs in both years) (Figure 10). Over the course of the surveillance period, the incidence rates of genital HSV infections decreased among service members in all age and race/ethnicity groups (data not shown). The rates decreased between 2018 and 2021 among female service members in all age groups except for those under 20 years old and those aged 25–29, among whom rates increased slightly in 2021. Annual rates decreased among male service members in all age groups from 2016 through 2020; in 2021, rates among male service members under age 24 and those aged 35–39 increased slightly (data not shown).

Syphilis

The crude incidence rate for syphilis in 2021 (6.1 per 10,000 p-yrs) was nearly 2 times that observed in 2013 (3.2 per 10,000 p-yrs), with the increase primarily driven by cases identified among male service members (Figure 11). Rates of syphilis increased steadily among male service members until 2018, decreased in 2019 and 2020, and then increased in 2021. Among female service members, rates remained relatively stable from 2013 to 2018, increased in 2019, decreased in 2020, and then increased in 2021. The overall incidence rates of syphilis generally decreased with advancing age among both sexes (data not shown). Among male service members, this pattern of decreasing overall incidence with increasing age was consistent among all race/ethnicity groups; there were not enough cases to evaluate associations between age and race/ethnicity group among female service members (data not shown).

Editorial Comment

The crude annual incidence rates of chlamydia, genital HPV, and genital HSV demonstrated decreases in more recent years during the surveillance period (since 2019, 2015, and 2016, respectively). Incidence rates of gonorrhea have remained relatively stable, while rates of syphilis generally increased during the surveillance period. From 2019 through 2021, rates of all STIs decreased in service members of both sexes, with the exception of syphilis; syphilis rates increased in both sexes between 2020 and 2021. Overall incidence rates of STIs were higher among women compared to men for genital HPV, genital HSV, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Syphilis was the only STI in this analysis for which the incidence was, on average, higher among male compared to female service members.

Higher incidence rates of most STIs among females compared to males can likely be attributed to implementation of the services’ screening programs for STIs among female service members as they enter active service and during the subsequent annual screenings for females younger than 26 years old. Because asymptomatic infection with chlamydia, gonorrhea, or HPV is common among sexually active females, widespread screening may result in sustained high numbers of infections diagnosed among young females.

Although rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea increased among both male and female service members during 2018–2019, mirroring the increasing rates in the civilian population,2 there were decreases in service members’ rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea in both sexes from 2019 through 2021. In the U.S., rates of chlamydia have been increasing among both men and women since 2000, and rates of gonorrhea have been increasing among both sexes since 2013.2 The increases in the rates of these STIs seen through 2018 in both the civilian and military populations could reflect true increases in the incidence of infections as well as improved screening coverage in men, particularly extragenital screening in men who have sex with men.12

Analyses of provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (NNDSS) for 2019 and the first 50 weeks (week of 9 December) of 2020 revealed that the 2020 cumulative totals of reported chlamydia and syphilis (primary and secondary) cases were 14.0% and 0.9% lower, respectively, than their 2019 cumulative totals.13 The cumulative total of 2020 reported gonorrhea cases represented a 7.1% increase over the 2019 cumulative total.13 The decreases in civilian case counts of some STIs between 2019 and 2020 have so far been attributed mostly to COVID-19 pandemic-related declines in the testing and/or reporting of cases,14 and it is possible that the COVID-19 pandemic had a similar effect on the military health system. It is important to note, however, that national civilian data for 2020 were preliminary at the time of this report.

No data on sexual risk behaviors were available in this study, but prior surveys of military personnel have indicated high levels of risk behaviors. The 2018 Department of Defense Health Related Behaviors Survey (HRBS) documented that 19.3% of active component respondents reported having 2 or more sex partners in the past year and that 34.9% reported sex with a new partner in the past year without using a condom; these percentages were almost double those reported from the 2011 survey.15

The general downward trend in incidence rates of genital HPV infections observed during the surveillance period may be related to the introduction of the HPV vaccine for women and girls in 2006 and for men in 2010. Among civilian women aged 14–24 years, cervical/vaginal prevalence of HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18 decreased by approximately 6% from the period 2003–2006 to 2009–2012.16 The HPV vaccine is currently not a mandatory vaccine for military service, but it is encouraged and offered to service members. Because the HPV vaccine (Gardasil) is approved for use among males and females beginning at age 9, it is possible that an increasing number of members who entered military service during the surveillance period may have been vaccinated for HPV before entering service. This prior vaccination may account for the decrease in the annual rates of genital HPV infections during the surveillance period.

The trends in the incidence of HSV and syphilis in the U.S. military are also similar to what is observed in the civilian population. Data from the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey indicate that the seroprevalence of both HSV-1 and HSV-2 has decreased in the U.S. population since 1999.2 In contrast, the incidence of primary and secondary syphilis reported to the CDC has increased markedly (167.1%) between 2010 and 2019, with men accounting for the majority of cases.2

This report has several limitations that should be considered when interpreting the results. First, diagnoses of STIs may be incorrectly coded. For example, STI-specific “rule out” diagnoses or vaccinations (e.g., HPV vaccination) may be reported with STI-specific diagnostic codes, which would result in an overestimate of STI incidence. Cases of syphilis, genital HSV, and genital HPV infections based solely on laboratory test results are considered “suspect” because the laboratory test results cannot distinguish between active and chronic infections. However, because incident cases of these STIs were identified based on the first qualifying encounter or laboratory result, the likelihood is high that most such cases are acute and not chronic.

STI cases may not be captured if coded in the medical record using symptom codes (e.g., urethritis) rather than STI-specific codes. In addition, the counts of STI diagnoses reported here may underestimate the actual numbers of diagnoses because some affected service members may be diagnosed and treated through non-reimbursed, nonmilitary care providers (e.g., county health departments or family planning centers) or in deployed settings (e.g., overseas training exercises, combat operations, or aboard ships). Laboratory tests that are performed in a Purchased CareThe TRICARE Health Program is often referred to as purchased care. It is the services we “purchase” through the managed care support contracts.purchased care setting, a shipboard facility, a battalion aid station, or an in-theater facility were not captured in the current analysis. Finally, medical data from sites that were using the new electronic health record for the Military Health System, MHS GENESIS, between July 2017 and October 2019 are not available in the DMSS. These sites include Naval Hospital Oak Harbor, Naval Hospital Bremerton, Air Force Medical Services Fairchild, and Madigan Army Medical Center. Therefore, medical encounter data for individuals seeking care at any of these facilities from July 2017 through October 2019 were not included in the current analysis.

For some STIs, the detection of prevalent infections may occur long after the time of initial infections. As a result, changes in incidence rates may reflect, at least in part, temporal changes in case ascertainment, such as a shift to more aggressive screening. The lack of standard practices across the services and their installations regarding screening, testing, treatment, and reporting complicate interpretations of differences between services, military and demographic subgroups, and locations. Establishing screening, testing, treatment, and reporting standards across the services and ensuring adherence to such standards would likely improve efforts to detect and characterize STI-related health threats. In addition, continued behavioral risk-reduction interventions are needed to counter STIs among military service members.

References

1. Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center. Sexually transmitted infections, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2000–2012. MSMR. 2013;20(2):5–10.

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually transmitted disease surveillance 2019. Accessed 14 March 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/std/statistics/2019/default.htm

3. Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. Sexually transmitted infections, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2012–2020. MSMR. 2021;27(3):13–22.

4. Krupp K, Madhivanan P. Antibiotic resistance in prevalent bacterial and protozoan sexually transmitted infections. Indian J Sex Transm Dis AIDS 2015;36(1):3–8.

5. Growing antibiotic resistance forces updates to recommended treatment for sexually transmitted infections [news release]. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 30 August 2016. Accessed 23 February 2021. https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/30-08-2016-growing-antibioticresistance-forces-updates-to-recommended-treatment-for-sexually-transmitted-infections

6. Tien V, Punjabi C, Holubar MK. Antimicrobial resistance in sexually transmitted infections. J Travel Med. 2020;27(1):1–11.

7. Garland SM, Steben M, Sings HL, et al. Natural history of genital warts: Analysis of the placebo arm of 2 randomized phase III trials of a quadrivalent human papillomavirus (types 6, 11, 16, and 18) vaccine. J infect Dis. 2009;199(6):805-814.

8. National Cancer Institute. HPV and cancer. Accessed 14 March 2022. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/infectiousagents/hpv-fact-sheet

9. Bernstein DI, Bellamy AR, Hook EW, Levin MJ, Wald A, Ewell MG, et al. Epidemiology, clinical presentation, and antibody response to primary infection with herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 in young women. Clin Infect Dis. 2013;56(3):344–351.

10. Garges E, Stahlman S, Jordan N, Clark LL. P3.69 Administrative medical encounter data and medical event reports for syphilis surveillance: a cautionary tale. Sex Transm Infect. 2017;93(suppl2):A118.

11. Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. Use of ICD-10 code A51.31 (condyloma latum) for identifying cases of secondary syphilis. MSMR. 2017;24(9):23.

12. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2019. Atlanta, GA; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2021.

13. Pagaoa M, Grey J, Torrone E, Kreisel K, Stenger M, Weinstock H. Trends in nationaly notifiable sexually transmitted disease case reports during the US COVID-19 pandemic, January to December 2020. Sex Trans Dis. 2021;48(10):798–804.

14. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. NCHHSTP Newsroom. 2021 Releases. Trends in STD case reports during the U.S. COVID-19 pandemic, January-December 2020. Accessed 14 March 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2021/2020-std-trend-report.html

15. Meadows SO, Engel CO, Collins RL, et al. 2018 Department of Defense Health Related Behaviors Survey (HRBS): Results for the Active Component. Sexual Behavior and Health. RAND Corporation Report. Accessed 16 March 2022. https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR4222.html

16. HPV Infections Targeted by Vaccine Decrease in U.S. [news release]. Bethesda, MD; National Cancer Institute; 9 March 2016. Accessed 24 February 2021. https://www.cancer.gov/newsevents/cancer-currents-blog/2016/hpv-infectionsdecreased

FIGURE 1. Incidence rates of Chlamydia trachomatis infections, by sex, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2013–2021

FIGURE 2. Incidence rates of Chlamydia trachomatis infections among female service members, by age group (years) and race/ethnicity group, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2013–2021

FIGURE 3. Incidence rates of Chlamydia trachomatis infections among male service members, by age group (years) and race/ethnicity group, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2013–2021

FIGURE 4. Incidence rates of genital HPV infections, by sex, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2013–2021

FIGURE 5. Incidence rates of genital HPV infections among female service members, by age group (years), active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2013–2021

FIGURE 6. Incidence rates of genital HPV infections among male service members, by age group (years), active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2013–2021

FIGURE 7. Incidence rates of gonorrhea infections, by sex, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2013–2021

FIGURE 8. Incidence rates of gonorrhea infections among female service members, by age group (years), active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2013–2021

FIGURE 9. Incidence rates of gonorrhea infections among male service members, by age group (years), active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2013–2021

FIGURE 10. Incidence rates of genital HSV infections, by sex, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2013–2021

FIGURE 11. Incidence rates of syphilis infections, by sex, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2013–2021

TABLE 1. ICD-9 and ICD-10 diagnostic codes used to identify cases of STIs in electronic health care records

TABLE 2. Incident counts and incidence rates of STIs, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2013–2021

 

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Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Surveillance Trends for SARS-CoV-2 and Other Respiratory Pathogens Among U.S. Military Health System Beneficiaries, 27 September 2020–2 October 2021.

Article
7/1/2022
Staff Sgt. Misty Poitra and Senior Airman Chris Cornette, 119th Medical Group, collect throat swabs during voluntary COVID-19 rapid drive-thru testing for members of the community while North Dakota Army National Guard Soldiers gather test-subject data in the parking lot of the FargoDome in Fargo, N.D., May 3, 2020. The guardsmen partnered with the N.D. Department of Health and other civilian agencies in the mass-testing efforts of community volunteers. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Chief Master Sgt. David H. Lipp)

Respiratory pathogens, such as influenza and adenovirus, have been the main focus of the Department of Defense Global Respiratory Pathogen Surveillance Program (DoDGRPSP) since 1976.1. However, DoDGRPSP also began focusing on SARS-CoV-2 when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic illness in early March 2020.2. Following this declaration, the DOD quickly adapted and organized its respiratory surveillance program, housed at the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFSAM), in response to this emergent virus.

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Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, Deployed Active and Reserve Component Service Members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2021

Article
6/1/2022
Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, Deployed Active and Reserve Component Service Members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2021

As in previous years, among service members deployed during 2021, injury/poisoning, musculoskeletal diseases and signs/symptoms accounted for more than half of the total health care burden during deployment. Compared to garrison disease burden, deployed service members had relatively higher proportions of encounters for respiratory infections, skin diseases, and infectious and parasitic diseases. The recent marked increase in the percentage of total medical encounters attributable to the ICD diagnostic category "other" (23.0% in 2017 to 44.4% in 2021) is likely due to increases in diagnostic testing and immunization associated with the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Absolute and Relative Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, Non-service Member Beneficiaries of the Military Health System, 2021

Article
6/1/2022
Absolute and Relative Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, Non-service Member Beneficiaries of the Military Health System, 2021

In 2021, mental health disorders accounted for the largest proportions of the morbidity and health care burdens that affected the pediatric and younger adult beneficiary age groups. Among adults aged 45–64 and those aged 65 or older, musculoskeletal diseases accounted for the most morbidity and health care burdens. As in previous years, this report documents a substantial majority of non-service member beneficiaries received care for current illness and injury from the Military Health System as outsourced services at non-military medical facilities.

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Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Surveillance snapshot: Illness and injury burdens, reserve component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2021

Article
6/1/2022
Surveillance snapshot: Illness and injury burdens, reserve component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2021

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Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Absolute and Relative Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2021

Article
6/1/2022
Absolute and Relative Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2021

In 2021, as in prior years, the medical conditions associated with the most medical encounters, the largest number of affected service members, and the greatest number of hospital days were in the major categories of injuries, musculoskeletal disorders, and mental health disorders. Despite the pandemic, COVID-19 accounted for less than 2% of total medical encounters and bed days in active component service members.

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Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Hospitalizations, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2021

Article
6/1/2022
Hospitalizations, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2021

The hospitalization rate in 2021 was 48.0 per 1,000 person-years (p-yrs), the second lowest rate of the most recent 10 years. For hospitalizations limited to military facilities, the rate in 2021 was the lowest for the entire period. As in prior years, the majority (71.2%) of hospitalizations were associated with diagnoses in the categories of mental health disorders, pregnancy-related conditions, injury/poisoning, and digestive system disorders.

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Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Ambulatory Visits, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2021

Article
6/1/2022
Ambulatory Visits, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2021

In 2021, the overall numbers and rates of active component service member ambulatory care visits were the highest of any of the last 10 years. Most categories of illness and injury showed modest increases in numbers and rates. The proportions of ambulatory care visits that were accomplished via telehealth encounters fell to under 15% in 2021, compared to 19% in 2020.

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Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Medical Evacuations out of the U.S. Central and U.S. Africa Commands, Active and Reserve Components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2021

Article
6/1/2022
Medical Evacuations out of the U.S. Central and U.S. Africa Commands, Active and Reserve Components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2021

The proportions of evacuations out of USCENTCOM that were due to battle injuries declined substantially in 2021. For USCENTCOM, evacuations for mental health disorders were the most common, followed by non-battle injury and poisoning, and signs, symptoms, and ill-defined conditions. For USAFRICOM, evacuations for non-battle injury and poisoning were most common, followed by disorders of the digestive system and mental health disorders.

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Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Surveillance snapshot: Illness and injury burdens, recruit trainees, U.S. Armed Forces, 2021

Article
6/1/2022
Surveillance snapshot: Illness and injury burdens, recruit trainees, U.S. Armed Forces, 2021

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Medical Surveillance Monthly Report
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Last Updated: August 17, 2022
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