Canada: Rates of Some Sexually Transmitted Diseases Rise
May 3, 2010
Syphilis diagnoses rose in the Niagara Region for the fourth consecutive year in 2009, according to an April 13 report to the public works committee.
Gonorrhea cases dropped to 52 last year from 108 in 2008, a pattern consistent for the last decade, said Alan Spencer and Irene Loewen, managers with the region's sexual health program. The 751 chlamydia reports in 2009 represented a slight decline from 2008, but were still more than twice the 341 cases logged in 2000.
The reported increases may be due to greater access to clinical services or more accurate testing methods, Spencer and Loewen said. However, the increases also may reflect an actual growth in prevalence, they added.
Acute hepatitis B infections remained low in the region, largely the consequence of an 80 percent uptake of the vaccine against the disease, Spencer and Loewen said. However, reports of hepatitis C -- for which there is no vaccine -- continued to be high for the past decade.
In February, Canadian Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq noted chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis rates were all on the rise. The three STDs are increasing more dramatically among middle-age adults than among youths, she said.
Niagara This Week (Thorold, Ontario)
04.20.2010; Paul Forsyth