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Health Indicator Report of Gonorrhea Cases

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 the blood stream and settle in the joints, brain, and heart becoming systemic or known as disseminated gonorrhea. In addition to the cervix and urethra, the rectum and pharynx are also possible sites of gonococcal infection.

Gonorrhea by Race/Ethnicity, Utah, 2022


Rates were calculated by dividing the number of cases within a race/ethnicity group by the population within that group and multiplying by 100,000.

Data Sources

  • Utah Department of Health and Human Services Office of Communicable Diseases
  • Population Estimates by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin for Counties in Utah, U.S. Bureau of the Census, IBIS Version 2022

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.


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.

How Are We Doing?

Following a doubling of the Utah gonorrhea rate from 2003 to 2006, when the rate peaked at 35.2 cases per 100,000 persons, the Utah gonorrhea rate decreased annually to the lowest reported rate of 9.8 in 2011. From 2011 to 2022, gonorrhea rates increased 830.6% to 91.2 cases per 100,000 persons. In 2022, gonorrhea rates in the state were higher in males (118.4 cases per 100,000 persons) than in females (63.1 cases per 100,000 persons). Rates in females increased 1,242.6% from 2011 to 2022, compared to 694.6% among males during the same time frame. The highest rates of gonorrhea in Utah in 2022 were among males aged 25 to 29 (370.1 cases per 100,000 persons) and males aged 30 to 34 (309.1 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 2022, the Utah gonorrhea rate ranked 44th highest in the nation. The overall rate for gonorrhea in the U.S. in 2022 was 194.4 cases per 100,000 persons. Nationally in 2022, gonorrhea rates were higher in males (236.3 cases per 100,000 persons) than females (152.1 cases per 100,000 persons). Gonorrhea rates were highest among males aged 20 to 24 (739.4 cases per 100,000 persons) and females aged 20 to 24 (715.1 cases per 100,000 persons). The next highest groups were males aged 25 to 29 (708.7 cases per 100,000 persons) and females aged 15 to 19 (525.7 cases per 100,000 persons). (CDC. [ ''Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance''], 2024)

What Is Being Done?

Persons who test positive for gonorrhea are confidentially interviewed by a disease intervention specialist (DIS) from a local health department (LHD) 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 mono antibiotic therapy to improve gonorrhea treatment effectiveness, and potentially slow the emergence of antibiotic resistance. The Utah Department of Health and Human Services HIV/STD, Elimination, Analysis, Response, and Treatment (HEART) along with LHDs, currently provide STI presentations upon request to a variety of organizations, agencies, and facilities.

Available Services

Some local health districts (LHDs) have STI (sexually transmitted infection) clinics located at their LHD where adolescents can be tested and treated for STIs at minimal or no cost. Planned Parenthood and other community based organizations have locations throughout Utah that also provide STI services at minimal cost. Condoms are available at these locations free of cost. STI presentations are available through the Utah Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) upon request. DHHS also has educational pamphlets available. Utah's consent of minor to treatment law allows adolescents 14 and older to be tested and treated for an STD without the consent of a parent. The exact law can be found here: []
Page Content Updated On 02/23/2024, Published on 04/26/2024
The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health and Human Services IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 21 July 2024 22:26:12 from Utah Department of Health and Human Services, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Wed, 26 Jun 2024 10:27:17 MDT