Background: It has been reported that COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted on the epidemiological trend of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) in many countries. However, relevant researches are limited in China. We aimed to analyze the extent of COVID-19 pandemic impact on STDs in China.
Methods: The incidence of HIV infection, syphilis and gonorrhea in China from 2008 to 2020 was collected. But only data of these three STDs from 2013 to 2018 were used to establish the Grey Model (1,1) considering about the impact of policies of China. Then we calculated the predictive incidence of each STD in 2019, 2020 and 2021 by the established Model. And then we estimated the extent of the impact of COVID-19 on the epidemiological changes of STDs by analyzing the difference between the absolute percentage error (APE) of the predictive incidence and actual rate in 2019 and 2020.
Results: The incidence of HIV infection and syphilis showed an increasing trend from 2008 to 2019 in China, but that for gonorrhea was fluctuant. Of note, the incidence of these three STDs decreased significantly in 2020 compared with that in 2019. The APE of HIV infection, syphilis and gonorrhea in 2020 (20.54%, 15.45% and 60.88%) were about 7 times, 4 times and 2 times of that in 2019 (2.94%, 4.07% and 30.41%). The incidence of HIV infection, syphilis and gonorrhea would be 5.77/100,000, 39.64/100,000 and 13.19/100,000 in 2021 based on our model.
Conclusions: Our analysis revealed that the epidemiological trend of STDs in China was significant influenced by COVID-19 pandemic. The result highlights the critical need for transformative strategies in STDs control in the context of the long-term effects of COVID-19 pandemic in the future.