Canada: "Safe Sex Fatigue" Behind Spike in Disease
April 13, 2007
Safe sex fatigue is likely contributing to the ongoing rise of chlamydia among young women, despite local public awareness efforts, a regional report finds. "We don't know when we are going to hit the ceiling on chlamydia," said Karen Verhoeve, manager of the region's STD and HIV program. "It seems young people are getting tired of the message to always use condoms."
In 2005, chlamydia cases among young females numbered 1,298, up from 1,237 the year before. In 2001, the number of cases was 948. Preliminary numbers for STDs in 2006 show that cases of HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are all up, said Verhoeve. Those figures are expected to be released in two weeks.
According to research, young women reported that a combination of drugs and alcohol led to episodes of unprotected sex. A public awareness campaign launched in 2006 continues, said Verhoeve, with posters in Grand River Transit buses, at high schools and universities, and at some local bars. It can take up to seven exposures for people to see a message and begin paying attention to it, she said.
"We haven't become complacent with promotion," said Verhoeve. "We talk about all options from abstinence to using condoms."
The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo)
04.11.2007; Liz Monteiro
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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.