Nunavut health workers encourage testing, dialogue on World AIDS Day – CBC

While Nunavut has a relatively low rate of new HIV infections, it has high rates of other STIs

Thursday is World AIDS Day, and Nunavut health care workers are taking the opportunity to recommend people get tested for all sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The rate of HIV in the territory is lower than anywhere else in Canada, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. In 2015, the rate of new infection is 2.7 per 100,000 people, less than half the national average of 5.8 per 100,000. Of all the provinces and territories, Saskatchewan ranks the highest, with 14.4 new infections per 100,000 people.

However, according to Government of Nunavut sexual health program coordinator Andrea Monahan, the territory does have high rates of other STIs, including gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia. This is cause for concern, Monahan said, because having one STI can increase your chances of getting another.

“Because our other rates of STIs are so high we know that people are having sex in ways that leave them at risk to HIV if they happen to have sex with someone who has HIV,” she said.

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