Sexually transmitted infections down, province says

By MorinvilleNews.com Staff

Edmonton – For the first time in seven years, Alberta’s rate for new cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) fell, according to 2010 statistics released Monday.

The 2010 Annual Report on Notifiable Sexually Transmitted Infections indicates 16,298 new cases of STI in Alberta, a figure 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, 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 in a release Monday. “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.”

Alberta health official have been concerned with the rising provincial infection rates for both sexually transmitted infections and blood-borne pathogens, including HIV and hepatitis B.

The province launched a five-year strategy and action plan in May or 2001 that the government says is leading the charge against STIs through education, awareness, testing and the hiring of more clinical and outreach staff.

Preliminary 2011 provincial information shows increased STI visits and testing as a result of awareness efforts. 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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