Canada: HIV Cases in Manitoba Jump More Than 20 Percent
March 11, 2010
Newly released figures from Manitoba Health show 108 new HIV cases were recorded in the province last year, an increase of more than 20 percent from the 88 cases logged in 2008.
The spike comes two years after health officials warned of a potential HIV epidemic among Manitoba's aboriginal population. The previous provincial report, released in 2007, showed HIV was spreading faster in First Nations heterosexual populations than other groups. The data showed roughly one-third of all new cases recorded in the province were among natives. Statistics also indicated Manitoba had one of Canada's highest per-capita HIV rates.
Most HIV cases in the province are reported in Winnipeg; demographic information on the 2009 cases is still unavailable.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joel Kettner said experts are studying the latest figures to determine whether HIV transmission is increasing and to examine a possible link to other STDs and factors such as injecting drug use. "It's definitely a concern," he said. "We know intravenous drug use is becoming a more important risk factor for HIV and of course [high-risk] heterosexual activity has increased."
"It's not immediately clear," Kettner said. "It could just be we're getting better and more people are coming forward for testing."
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.