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Alberta’s sexually transmitted infection rates decrease

January 30, 2012

Increased awareness, treatment and key staffing contribute to drop

Edmonton… Alberta’s rates for new cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) fell in 2010, the first decrease since 2004. In addition, rates for new cases of HIV and AIDS continued to decrease for a second straight year.

The 2010 Annual Report on Notifiable Sexually Transmitted Infections found there were 16,298 new cases of STI in Alberta, down from a peak of 17,217 cases in 2009. The 2010 Annual Report on HIV and AIDS in Alberta shows 192 newly diagnosed cases of HIV, as compared to 219 cases in 2009 and 233 cases in 2008.“I am very encouraged that the good work happening on the ground by our public health officials is starting to pay off,” said Alberta Health and Wellness Minister Fred Horne. “We know, however, that sexually transmitted infections remain an ongoing and serious public health concern. It is so very important that our health experts continue to work together and that Albertans take precautions so we can bring down STIs even more and sustain these gains into the future.”

Over the past decade, Alberta health officials have become increasingly concerned with the rising provincial rates of infections for both sexually transmitted infections and blood-borne pathogens, such as HIV and hepatitis B. A provincewide five-year strategy and action plan was launched in May 2011. The strategy is currently leading the charge against STIs through education, awareness, testing and hiring more clinical and outreach staff.

“Through increasing awareness and enhancing our capacity for testing, follow-up and treatment we’re working to encourage individuals to get tested and practice safe sex to reduce their risk,” said Dr. André Corriveau, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer. “And we know it is working. Preliminary 2011 information shows increased STI visits and testing as a result of awareness efforts. It is a positive indication of how our current provincewide strategy is providing us with an effective roadmap to success in combating these types of infectious diseases for Alberta.”

For more information about STIs or Alberta’s five-year STI strategy visit the Alberta Health and Wellness website: www.health.alberta.ca/newsroom/pub-disease-injury.html or call the toll-free STI/HIV line: 1-800-772-2437.

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Backgrounder: Alberta’s sexually transmitted infections rates 2010

Media inquiries may be directed to:
Micky Elabdi
Communications
Alberta Health and Wellness
780-415-1231

To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.