Canada: HIV Rates Spur Condom Campaign
September 1, 2011
Officials at Ottawa Public Health (OPH) hope stepped-up prevention efforts will stem a rising tide of new HIV infections.
Ottawa has seen 46 new HIV diagnoses so far this year, compared to 32 at this point last year. Males comprise 89 percent of the new cases, with two-thirds of diagnoses involving men who have sex with men (MSM). While rates were up among men ages 30-39, the biggest increase was noted among men ages 20-29.
"It's high enough that we felt it's a good time to go out with more messaging and more awareness-raising among younger [MSM], primarily," said Dr. Vera Etches, associate medical officer for the City of Ottawa.
"Around [MSM], sometimes there is a sense that, If I get HIV, it can be managed,'" Etches said. "So [we're] kind of just highlighting why it is still worth practicing safer sex to protect yourself and others."
The campaign will kick off in the fall, targeting college students as well as sex workers. OPH also planned a presence at the Capital Pride festival. In addition to taking part in public events, OPH will introduce a social media effort and boost the number of condoms it gives out, as resources allow.
Barrhaven-Ottawa South This Week
08.26.2011; Laura Mueller
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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