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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
CANADA: Alberta Makes Headway in Curbing Sexually Transmitted Infections
Darcy Henton
February 1, 2012
Calgary Herald (01.30.12) - Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Alberta is making progress against STDs and is improving surveillance to detect drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea, the province's chief medical health officer announced recently. The surveillance measure will help ensure "we don't end up behind the eight ball," said Andre Corriveau, noting that such strains are "very worrisome for all the public health communities around the world." "We're starting to see a creep in the level of antibiotics you require to treat the infection," Corriveau said. "We have a couple of imported cases, and we have to make sure it doesn't spread within the province." Gonorrhea reports dipped in 2009 and 2010, though the number of new cases in 2010, 1,188, was double the figure from a decade ago, Corriveau said. While STD rates have generally declined, Alberta's 13,000 chlamydia cases represented double the 2000 figure, and the rate remains above the Canadian average. HIV infections spiked in 2007, with 6.7 cases per 100,000 population, but in 2010 the rate dropped to 5.2 cases per 100,000. The 30 new AIDS cases in 2010 represented the lowest increase seen in more than 20 years.

Last May, the province announced a five-year, $14 million (US $14.01 million) effort to fight STDs, including $2 million (US $2 million) for an awareness campaign. Last year's "edgy" advertising had an immediate effect on the number of young adults getting tested, Corriveau said. A new campaign will launch this year with fresh messages, and new ads may be aimed at dating sites linked to STDs.