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Prevention/Epidemiology
Canada: Health Unit Uses Light Touch for Serious Topic

January 26, 2004

Ontario's Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Health Unit uses humor in its latest poster campaign to encourage men to be treated for sexually transmitted diseases. Headlined, "Guys, urine luck," the posters explain that new tests mean many STDs can be detected from a urine sample rather than with a urethral swab.

Elaine Scott, manager of the health unit's adolescent/sexual health program, said chlamydia continues to have the highest incidence rate of the many STDs the unit tracks, affecting people ages 20-24 more than any other age bracket. Since 1991, chlamydia rates dropped from 222.58 per 100,000 in Guelph to 74 per 100,000 in 2000, the latest figures available. In Wellington County over the same time period, the rate rose slightly, going from 25.96 per 100,000 in 1991 to 27.6 per 100,000 in 2000.

The health unit operates free clinics in Guelph, Orangeville, Palmerston and Shelburne and will open one in Fergus on Feb. 4. It also operates Student Wellness Centers at public high schools in the area, allowing students to visit doctors and nurses with any kind of complaint.

"There are two barriers to testing: people either don't want to admit to their family doctor they may have an STD, or they don't want to go where their family goes and could find out," Scott explained. "That's why the clinics are so important. The more cases that are detected, the more cases that are treated. And that's the really important number."

Back to other news for January 26, 2004

Excerpted from:
Guelph Mercury
01.21.04; Joanne Shuttleworth




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