CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News UpdateCANADA: Many Canadians Unaware They Have Sexually Transmitted Infection: Study
April 23, 2013
Toronto Sun (04.17.13)
According to the 2009–2011 Canadian Health Measures Survey of Canadians aged 14 to 59, many people who have chlamydia or herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) are not aware of being infected. Participants in the nationally representative survey answered questions about being diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections and gave blood and urine samples.
The survey included 3,250 chlamydia respondents and 3,247 HSV-2 respondents. Data indicated that 0.7 percent of people aged 14 to 59 (158,000 people) had chlamydia, although none of the survey respondents diagnosed with chlamydia responded they had ever had an STD. Results from HSV-2 respondents showed that 13.6 percent of people aged 14 to 59 (2.9 million people) had HSV-2, whereas only 6 percent of participants reported having the virus.
Chlamydia and HSV-2 frequently go undiagnosed because they have no symptoms; HSV-2 may also present with atypical symptoms. Previous estimates of chlamydia and HSV-2 among the Canadian population aged 14 to 59 were based on high-risk populations or cases reported to health authorities.
The full report, “Prevalence of Chlamydia Trachomatis and Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2: Results from the 2009 to 2011 Canadian Health Measures Survey,” was published online by Statistics Canada at http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2013004/article/11777-eng.htm