Canada: B.C. Health Authority Issues Public Advisory for At-Risk People to Get HIV Test
July 23, 2008
A new public advisory issued by the Northern Health Authority urges at-risk residents of northwest British Columbia to get tested for HIV. The region logs around a dozen new HIV cases every year, although 26 people tested positive in 2006. Nancy Dhaliwal, a public health nurse with the Northern Health Unit in Terrace, said provincial figures show the region's per capita HIV rate is close to Vancouver's. "I believe we're the third-highest in the province for HIV," said Dhaliwal. Injecting drug users and persons involved in the sex trade are more likely to become HIV-infected. Of the 26 cases in 2006, most were among aboriginal females under age 30, said Dhaliwal. Free and confidential HIV tests are available at local health units, needle exchanges, and through family doctors' offices.