Skip directly to searchSkip directly to the site navigationSkip directly to the page's main content

Important Facts for Gonorrhea Cases


Rate of newly reported cases of gonorrhea by date of diagnosis per 100,000 population.


Number of newly reported cases of gonorrhea by date of diagnosis.


Number of persons in Utah.

Data Interpretation Issues

Reported gonorrhea rates are calculated by dividing the number of cases within the population of interest by the total number of persons within that population, then multiplying by 100,000. It should be noted that because of the relatively small number of gonorrhea infections reported in Utah, rates can be volatile: a small change in the number of cases can noticeably change the rate. This change may look significant, but, statistically, it may not be. Caution is strongly recommended when interpreting small case numbers and rates.

Why Is This Important?

Although much less common than chlamydia infections, gonorrhea, caused by the bacterium ''Neisseria gonorrhoeae'', is a priority public health concern in Utah. Untreated gonorrhea infections can damage the reproductive systems of both males and females. Females with gonorrhea infection are at risk for developing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and both men and women may become infertile as a result of untreated gonorrhea infections. Also, susceptibility to infections such as HIV also increases when an individual has gonorrhea. Furthermore, pregnant women with gonorrhea can pass the infection to their infant during delivery, potentially resulting in ophthalmia neonatorum. Gonorrhea can spread to joints and become systemic (disseminated gonorrhea). In addition to the cervix and urethra, the rectum and pharynx are also possible sites of gonococcal infection.

Healthy People Objective STD-6:

Reduce gonorrhea rates
U.S. Target: Not applicable, see subobjectives in this category

Other Objectives

Related Healthy People 2020 Objectives include:[[br]] [[br]] =====Healthy People Objective STD-5:===== Reduce the proportion of females aged 15 to 44 years who have ever required treatment for pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)[[br]] '''U.S. Target:''' 3.8 percent[[br]] [[br]] =====Healthy People Objective STD-6:===== Reduce gonorrhea rates *{{style color:#003366 STD-6.1:}} Reduce gonorrhea rates among females aged 15 to 44 years [[br]]'''U.S. Target:''' 251.9 new cases per 100,000 population *{{style color:#003366 STD-6.2:}} Reduce gonorrhea rates among males aged 15 to 44 years [[br]]'''U.S. Target:''' 194.8 new cases per 100,000 population

How Are We Doing?

Following a doubling of Utah's gonorrhea rate from 2003 to 2006, when the rate peaked at 35.2 cases per 100,000 persons, Utah's gonorrhea rate decreased annually to the lowest reported rate of 9.8 in 2011. From 2011 to 2014, gonorrhea rates increased 399% to 48.9 cases per 100,000 persons. The gonorrhea rate increased slightly (6.8%) to 52.2 cases per 100,000 persons in 2015. In 2016, the gonorrhea rate increased by 31.8% to 68.8 cases per 100,000 persons. In 2016, gonorrhea rates in the state were higher in males (90.2 cases per 100,000 persons) than in females (47.2 cases per 100,000 persons). Rates in females increased 719% from 2011-2014, compared to 297% among males during the same time frame. In 2015 rates of gonorrhea in males increased 18.6% while rates of gonorrhea in females decreased 11.9%. Rates increased in both males and females in 2016, 28.7% and 38.8% respectively. The highest rates of gonorrhea in Utah in 2016 were among males aged 25 to 29 (269.8 cases per 100,000 persons) and males aged 30 to 34 (230.4 cases per 100,000 persons).

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Gonorrhea rates in Utah are well below rates in the U.S. In 2016, Utah's gonorrhea rate ranked 43rd highest in the nation. The overall rate for gonorrhea in the U.S. in 2016 was 145.8 cases per 100,000 persons. Nationally in 2016, gonorrhea rates were higher in males (170.7 cases per 100,000 persons) than females (121.0 cases per 100,000 persons). Gonorrhea rates were highest among males aged 20 to 24 (616.8 cases per 100,000 persons) and females aged 20 to 24 (595.5 cases per 100,000 persons). The next highest groups were males aged 25 to 29 (545.1 cases per 100,000 persons) and females aged 15 to 19 (482.1 cases per 100,000 persons). (CDC. [ ''Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance''], 2016)

What Is Being Done?

Persons who test positive for gonorrhea are confidentially interviewed by a disease intervention specialist from a local health department to educate the patient, ensure proper treatment, and to obtain sexual partner information for follow up. This process potentially prevents the spread of infection and reduces the likelihood of the patient becoming reinfected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends that patients with gonococcal infections be treated with a dual antibiotic therapy that is effective against chlamydia to simultaneously treat this frequent coinfection, improve gonorrhea treatment efficacy, and potentially slow the emergence of resistance to cephalosporins. The Utah Department of Health Communicable Disease Prevention Program, along with local health departments, currently provide STD presentations upon request to a variety of organizations, agencies, and facilities.
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 21 October 2018 21:46:24 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Mon, 8 Jan 2018 15:20:24 MST