NWT’s Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) rates decrease
Yellowknife (April 18, 2012) Finally, the NWT is seeing a reduction in STIs. The NWT has seen a drop in the number of cases for Gonorrhea. Gonorrhea (also known as “The Clap”) is a common STI that can be cured with antibiotics. However, if not treated early, it can seriously affect your health and may cause sterility.
The Report on Sexually Transmitted Infections in Canada: 2009 found Gonorrhea rates in the NWT drop by 20.1% from 2008 to 2009.“This is an important milestone for us. For the first time ever, the NWT is seeing a drop in sexually transmitted infection rates,” said Minister of Health and Social Services Tom Beaulieu. “It is through the good work of many people – public health officials, community governments, non-government organizations and our residents – that we have seen a downward trend. However, sexually transmitted infections continue to be a serious and ongoing health problem. We will continue to work with our partners and residents to bring these rates down even more.”
Tackling STI rates in the NWT must be done using several approaches. This is especially true when targeting youth and young adults as they have the highest rates. Some of the approaches used by the Department of Health and Social Services are having health officials visit the communities and schools to raise awareness of STIs using tools like the youth sexual health website respectyourself.ca and the Kiss Me Deadly comic book. It is also through the work of partners like the Community Action Research Team (who raised STI awareness by doing door-to-door campaigns) in the Tlicho, nurses on the frontline who did 100% follow-up for individuals who tested positive, and community residents who took the initiative to get tested that the NWT has begun to see a decrease in rates.
“Raising awareness of STIs using several different approaches is working,” said Acting Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola. “We have seen a drop in not only Gonorrhea, but also Chlamydia, which is the most commonly reported STI in Canada. We have found that the rates for Chlamydia dropped by 5.9% and Gonorrhoea dropped by 52.7% from 2008 to 2011. We will continue our efforts as we are making a difference.”
For more information about STIs visit www.respectyourself.ca.
For more information, contact:
Innovation, Reform and Legislation
Department of Health and Social Services
Tel: (867) 920-8927
Email: [email protected]